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Amazon founder, Google co-founder may become next Jobs

SINGAPORE -- A year after the death of Steve Jobs, tech industry pundits ponder who, if anyone, will achieve his level of innovation and greatness.

Jobs died on Oct. 5 last year after a seven-year battle with pancreatic cancer. He gave birth to products that changed the way people use computers and phones, listened to music and read books. He transformed seven industries: personal computing, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, retail stores and digital publishing.

No one can possibly match him.

But there are two candidates who can claim the mantle of the next tech icon and visionary. One is Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of e-commerce giant Amazon; the other is Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

Brin, 39, the “propeller head” who leads Google X Lab, the search titan's secret research facility, is turning science fiction into reality. From here emerged Google Glass, a full-blown computer worn as a pair of glasses.

The gadget displays the Internet on a small screen above the right eye. It lets a user communicate with others as he would with a phone. It is a sexy gizmo but still a prototype. Commercial versions are due in 2014.

Google X Lab has also been researching driverless cars. Computers built into cars can detect speed, direction, distance, weather conditions, traffic and road signals and signs. They can share information with other similar cars.

Brin is turning Google X Lab into America's next Bell Labs, pushing the tech envelope to create never-seen-before gizmos and services.

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