Google co-founder Sergey Brinn demoed his company’s Google Glass program at this week’s Google I/O conference in what may be the best tech presentation on record. Warning that the technology was new and this would be a rough demo, he cut to a scene of several BASE jumpers geared up in wing suits floating above San Francisco’s Moscone Center in a Zeppelin airship (as I was later corrected after calling it a “blimp”). For the next several minutes, conference participants watching the keynote (and those of us watching via streaming video) were treated to a series of POV shots taken directly from the cutting edge Glass technology, experiencing the same thrill of falling to earth, jumping BMX bikes across the convention center roofs, rappelling down to the third floor and, finally, riding through a confused lobby crowd and through the meeting room to the keynote stage.
I’m impressed with the message of the UC System’s new ad campaign, “Onward California“. I discovered it by clicking through on an ad – something I rarely do – that mentioned I was able to surf the web thanks to a UC Irvine graduate who helped develop the HTTP protocol.
At a time when our state is suffering through budget shortages, falling house prices, record unemployment and the grim specter of bankruptcy, it’s wise to demonstrate the power education has to transform society and lives. Ultimately, it’s a beg for money to support the system, which is suffering like the rest of the state, but they’ve made the value proposition clear: UC grads make the world better, and investing in their future has a huge, provable return on that investment.