From my Forbes.com blog The New Persuaders:
Apple is legendary for its demos at its software developer conferences, introducing products that surprise and delight the crowd and then consumers. Even with the passing of cofounder and master showman Steve Jobs last year, Apple will likely continue to set the gold standard in launching products in the most public and desire-inducing way.
Google? It’s known more for rather geeky demos, and even one or two that didn’t work very well, like the demo of Google TV two years ago.
Today, however, it outdid itself–and even more amazing, outdid Apple. Reminiscent of Jobs’ famous “one more thing” announcements, Google cofounder Sergey Brin bounded onto the stage at the Google I/O conference keynote to “interrupt” VP Vic Gundotra with a demo of Google Glass, those wearable computer glasses he has been seen wearing in the last few months.
But this wasn’t just any demo. Google had a few people in an airship wearing the glasses, and when they looked down on San Francisco, it was pretty cool in a vertiginous sort of way.
Then it became apparent that these guys (and a woman) weren’t going to stay in the airship for long. They were going to jump. Over a heavily populated city. Onto the roof of the very conference center where Brin and 5,000 engineers were gathered. …