Google’s unveiling of its new Nexus 7 tablet wasn’t really a surprise, but this certainly was.

Company co-founder Sergey Brin made an unexpected appearance on stage at the Google I/O conference this morning to serve as the master of ceremonies for an elaborate stunt to promote the company’s augmented reality glasses.

Google's Sergey Brin and Vic Gundotra on stage at Google I/O.

It started with skydivers in a blimp over San Francisco, wearing the company’s Project Glass prototypes to show the view from their perspective in a Google+ Hangout as they floated down for a landing on top of Moscone Center, site of the event. From there, the prototypes were delivered down to the conference call by stunt cyclists and a climber rappelling down the side of the building.

The point? Mostly to grab attention, apparently. The project leaders are now demonstrating the Project Glass technology, with point-of-view pictures from people wearing the glasses.

When he came back on stage, Brin said he was excited that the whole thing actually worked. He then announced the Google Glass “Explorer Edition,” available for exclusive preorder by I/O attendees — intended for developers and not consumers. It will cost $1,500 and it will ship early next year.

Here’s the video of the keynote, with the stunt starting at 1 hour, 36 minutes.

Here are screenshots from the live stream.


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  • Sasha Aickin

    Are you sure this was live? There were four skydivers yesterday into Moscone.

    • Todd Bishop

      I believe it was live. Sergey Brin was talking with one of the skydivers in the blimp from the stage. Looks like they’ve been doing test runs in the weeks leading up to the event, which is presumably what that was yesterday.

  • Blake

    Hmm, that keynote video is ‘private’

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