How Google Set Up The Skydiving Stunt For Google Glasses

Posted Jun 29, 2012

The Google Glasses demo at the I/O conference was incredible. It started with a few people skydiving and then passing on the Google Glasses to bikers. The bikers then passed it on to a couple of guys running down the side of the Moscone Center using a tether and then passing it on to another biker. All of this footage was captured from the Google Glasses that the stunt-men were wearing and was streamed in a Google+ Hangout. Putting the entire stunt together required a lot of organizations coming together.

?This can go wrong in 500 different ways, so tell me: Who Wants to see a demo of Glass?? said Sergey Brin when he took the stage to showcase the stunt. In an interview with TechCrunch, Google said that this stunt started being planned 6 weeks ago.

After hiring JT and the other skydivers, Google had to receive cooperation from the San Francisco Mayor’s Office, the San Francisco Police and Fire Departments, and NASA Ames in Mountain View. Google then had to work with the FAA offices in Oakland, San Jose, and Washington. The FAA issued a NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) #06/083 that warned a parachute jumping exercise could be taking place over San Francisco between Tuesday-Thursday morning. The airspace 4,000 feet over San Francisco was classified as Class B airspace and pilots needed permission to fly there.

One of the rules that had to be bended to make this work is that zeppelin airships are not allowed to open a door in flight. Google worked with the San Jose FAA branch to add new rules to the operation manual for zeppelins so that the door could be opened and they could jump out. Google said that the jump was the first ever legal zeppelin skydives using wing-suits in the U.S.

Google used 25 cameras for the entire stunt and the stunt-men used 11 Glass prototype devices. There were 10 manned cameras used to capture the stunt-men and there were 3 additional cameras in the main hall.

Check out the entire stunt below: