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We’ve Been Googled

Sergey Brin wearing the Google Glass  prototype Although I wasn’t in attendance, there’s quite a buzz on the internet and across social-media channels today about the Foundation’s San Francisco Dining in the Dark Visionary Awards Dinner last night. It seems that Google co-founder Sergey Brin attended wearing a prototype of the Project Glass eyewear that Google has been developing. Brin’s debut of the glasses was cause for high-tech blogger Robert Scoble to actually post during the event.

Brin was there because Google bought a table at the event, which is the San Francisco version of a Foundation fundraiser during which the attendees dine in the dark, literally, for half an hour. When the lights aren’t out, the Foundation gives its Visionary Award to deserving honorees. This year, they were: Anne Wojcicki, who co-founded 23andMe to empower consumers with access to their own genetic information; and Dr. Anthony P. Adamis, who heads Genentech’s ophthalmology work and focuses on the advancement of new treatments for vision-related conditions.

So, you had a room packed with high-tech folk, 380 attendees in all, whose presence helped raise $700,000 for the Foundation — money that will go toward treatments and cures of retinal diseases.

Sergey Brin (far right), wearing Project Glass eyewear, is pictured with (from left) Dr. Hal Barron, Carol Cunningham and Anne Wojcicki.

Sergey Brin (far right), wearing Project Glass eyewear, is pictured with (from left) Dr. Hal Barron, Carol Cunningham and Anne Wojcicki.

Now, from what I can tell, the Google glasses – an eyewear mix of smartphone and internet – won’t benefit the visually impaired, specifically. At least not right away. But as a symbol of the “vision” we celebrate during these dinners, Brin’s gesture was dead-on.

More applicable to people with low and no vision are the vOICe for Android and a project I came across during my recent trip to Israel, one in which Dr. Amir Amedi is harnessing sound vibrations to create “vision.”

But, Mr. Brin, thank you very much for attending the San Francisco dinner, and for drawing attention to our cause.

Now, where can I get a pair of those glasses?


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