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Recap: Eric Schmidt’s Keynote At Mobile World Congress #MWC11

**note** to see the archive of our live blog from tonights keynote click here

Before we move onto the next cocktail party at MWC we wanted to recap Eric Schmidt’s Keynote address at MWC.  The auditorium was standing room only for Schmidts talk which highlighted just about every part of the Google/Android eco-system as it stands today and where it’s going in the future.

Schmidt started off his presentation by highlighting some key facts about Android 350,000 activations per day, 170 devices, 27 OEMs, 169 carriers, 69 countries and over 150,000 apps in the app store. Schmidt went on to say it wasn’t about the phone it’s about the eco-system.

Next Schmidt went on to talk about the way that technology has progressed in the last 20 years. He said when  he was at Sun Microsystems they focused on the 3M’s  One Megabyte, One Megahertz and One Megapixel today we are seeing much more than that.  Schmidt said that the smartphone now has 20,000 more computing capabilities than the lunar mission in 1967. My how far we’ve come.

Read more on Eric Schmidt’s MWC Keynote after the break

One thing we noticed today, and some in the audience agreed, was that Schmidt seemed a lot more upbeat and charismatic than usual.  And today he didn’t say anything that would come to haunt him later.

Schmidt talked more and more about the way the smartphone has evolved using it as a communications device, computer device and then a serendipity platform where the smartphone could teach you new things and suggest things to you. When mentioning this he cited something Bill Gates said in a speech in 1990 about doing things with computers we didn’t even know we could do yet. That is where all this is going.

Schmidt also talked a lot about the evolution of instant translation. He didn’t want to be as ballsy as to say that it could prevent or stop a war but it would break down international communication barriers when both people sitting at the table could better understand each other.

Schmidt put a new emphasis on privacy through most of his speech, constantly saying things like “With your permission”. Google and Facebook are always in a weekly battle like Pepsi and Coke week, one week it’s Google’s turn to be hammered about privacy and the next week it’s Facebooks. I guess to get rid of any of that Schmidt says “with your permission”. When asked about privacy during the Q&A Schmidt said they took privacy seriously and that with your permission is more of an opt in.  Of course throughout his speech all the really really cool stuff would require your permission.

Schmidt and a Google engineer named Gil gave a demo of Movie Studio on the Motorola Xoom. They showed how you could take pictures on your Nexus S, upload them to picassa, download them to your Xoom tablet and then make a movie out of them and upload directly to youtube. Then they had the ever so popular Wifi conference freak out and decided we should just watch the movie they created during the keynote on youtube later.

Schmidt talked about other Google products like Google search and Google Instant and Chrome OS. One of the people in the Q&A didn’t seem to even know there was a Google Chrome.

In the beginning of the speech Schmidt talked about having access to your medical information on your phone. It seemed like a stretch for privacy fanatics but the way he described it later was more like a very detailed med-alert bracelet stored in your phone with your medical history, current diagnosis, allergy alerts, that would be kind of nifty.

Schmidt gave a great example of where the future of the smartphone is going with NFC built in. He said what if he was walking down the street and his phone already knew he needed a new pair of pants.  His phone also knew where he was and that there was a store with the pants he likes up the street and to the right.  The phone has already communicated with the store and picked the pants, knows the price (and then Schmidt said he was a cheapskate) so the phone knew the pants were on sale.  When he walked into the store the clerk already had it bagged and the phone paid for it via NFC. He looked around the audience who showed a hint of skepticism but he insured us things like that were coming.

When one journalist asked Eric “Shouldn’t Larry Be Here” Schmidt explained that incoming Google CEO, Larry Page, told Schmidt that Schmidt can now fly more. Schmidt said if Larry is awake he’s at his desk working and Sergey Brin is working on special projects.

If Schmidt has had some of his plate cleared to make him the mouthpiece of Google it seems to have done him some good. Like I said earlier he seemed upbeat and ready for anything. It was a very Dan Hesse style of talk this time.

We will recap what he said specifically about Android in another post in just a little bit.