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Google IO… Walking with Giants

20. May 2010 by Ben Z Cooper Leave a comment

Day breaks in San Francisco with palpable excitement on the day we are due to present the Mondo Spider at Google IO. Rj loaded the spidered onto a huge elevator. As they the elevator doors open on the 3rd floor of the Moscone Centre’s massive convention center space.  For a brief moment the comic ballet of people setting up this massive space comes to a screeching halt at the sight of a giant, and altogether alien, walking spider as it stomps its way across the carpet to our designated Mondo Spider playpen.

The GadgetFest gala space is exactly what one would expect from a party put together by perhaps THE most influential company in the world today – Amazing!  Awe-inspiring!  A pair of screens the width of a football field blasts images controlled by the DJ at the front of the room, who is dwarfed by the scale of screens behind him.  The Mondo Spider is in good company, nuzzled up to a Tesla Roadster, just past the VirtuSphere presented by Ray Latypov, and shouting distance to a human powered merry-go-round-of-death, aptly named “The Terror-Go-Round” put together by our friends from the Madagascar Institute in New York.

Before we even get a chance to really drink in our surroundings, Dan Dubno shows up with a very special guest – Sergey Brin!  Let me tell you, it is not an every day experience to be in the company of a creative giant.  It might have been more nerve-wracking to be teaching Sergey to drive the Mondo Spider if it weren’t for the fact that he was sporting a pair of wicked Vibram’s shoes (or anti-shoes, more like it).  That small detail kind of strips away the cloak of power and influence that comes from guiding a Fortune 500 company, to reveal the man underneath.  That’s right folks – he’s one of us!  After a brief tutorial by Jon Tippett, Sergey was tearing up the carpet with the Mondo.  As if that wasn’t enough, before the blush wore off we were introduced to Chad Hurley – founder of YouTube!  Truly, we were in the company of giants tonight.

The evening was incredible!  The response to the Mondo Spider was outstanding.  Thanks to Dan, we had a steady stream of special guests coming by to get up-close-and-personal with our creation.  We had Aoi and Matthias – two champion programmers of the Mondo Spider Radar App – took the spider for a spin.  Brad Sieber, who has been volunteering with eatART for several months had his first ride in this charged atmosphere.

As the evening wound down, we swapped a ride in the spider with Ray Latypov for a spin in his other-worldly VirtuSphere virtual reality ball, and sampled from the other inspired exhibits with childlike excitement.  By the end of the night, we reflected on the amazing place that we’ve been blessed to be in. Thanks, Dan and San Fran!

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