Mayor of London Boris Johnson teased a BBC technology journalist for wearing Google Glass this morning at the launch of London Tech Week.
The BBC’s Rory Cellan-Jones questioned Johnson on whether London and the South East truly has more IT workers than the whole of California, as City Hall and Oxford Economics claimed in a report out this morning.
Johnson began to answer the question before getting side-tracked by the Google Glass device on Cellan-Jones’ face, which the journalist has been trialling at the BBC for approximately two months.
“I like your Google specs. Do you really use those?” he asked, with an emphasis on the word “really”.
Google Glass is a prototype product that is being trialled by a handful of early adopters around the world, known as "Explorers". The device puts the sort of information and applications one might expect to receive on their smartphone into a small screen above the user's right eye but it has been criticised by several explorers for being too difficult to use.
Following the jibe, Cellan-Jones Tweeted a picture of Boris Johnson staring at him wearing the augmented reality glasses. In the same Tweet, he said: “So @MayorofLondon just stared at me and said do you REALLY use those Google specs?!”
Cellan-Jones also uploaded a video onto YouTube titled "Boris Johnson Through Google Glass".
While London and the South East may have more tech workers than California, the region is yet to spawn a technology company on anywhere near the same scale as Silicon Valley giants like Google, Facebook and Twitter.
Johnson said: “Although we’ve got the biggest tech sector in Europe here in London...we haven’t yet produced the kind of knockout multi, multi billion pound business that they have in Silicon Valley.
“There are still some things we can do even better. For instance, we’ve got to make sure that you have really good broadband across London. We’re looking at that. Is it that we don’t have the right kind of kick-ass business people here? Is it that the banks and the VC industry aren’t as imaginative and as proactive? We’ve got to work out what it is.”
Earlier this year, Johnson made it clear that he wants London to be the tech capital of the world, rivalling the city’s dominance in financial services and tourism.
Image credit: @ruskin147