back to article Google to Glass devs: 'Duh! Go ahead, hack your headset'

Google might not want people selling its Google Glass Explorer Edition high-tech specs, but it has no problem with developers hacking on the hardware and software, if recent developments are any indication. The Chocolate Factory released the GPL-licensed portions of the source code to the software that powers Glass over the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It will never catch on

    Something like this is far too disruptive. It would be like men not wearing hats in public, or if people stopped standing for "God Save the Queen" in cinemas.

    1. RAMChYLD

      Re: It will never catch on

      Wait, people actually stand for the national anthem in cinemas?

      Strange customs, that country.

      1. Tim Parker

        @RAMChYLD Re: It will never catch on

        "Wait, people actually stand for the national anthem in cinemas?"

        The noise you just heard was the point flying past you very, very fast..

    2. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      Irony fail

      You can't buy a Google Glass unless you can prove that you own, and frequently wear, a fedora.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It will never catch on

      Unless they are X-ray specs!

  2. Trustme
    Thumb Up

    Love it.

    I don't care what the naysayers, pessimists, Luddites or anyone else who poo-poos this device say, I want one. Not because it will look cool (it won't until it becomes socially accepted, I'll look like a dick to most people), and not because I'm the kind of person who buys the latest shiny shiny, but because of what it represents as a stepping stone in, however clumsily at first, taking the first step towards fully integrating technology into our experience of the world in a meaningful way that we can interact with as we go about our day without having to stop to operate it, and in 20 years when we've got chips in our visual cortex constantly updating us wirelessly with actually useful information overlaid onto our view of the world I will look back fondly at where it all started.

    1. GBL Initialiser

      It's one small step for man, one giant leap for targeted advertising ;-)

      (El Reg mobile app can't do icons so just pretend the troll face is to the left.)

      1. Trustme

        That much is unfortunately certain lol

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Yeah, I mean your Android phone is just a constant barrage of targeted advertising, all over the homescreen, during phone and video calls, etc.

          Glass is just another Android device.

          1. Anonymous Coward

            Targetted advertising on YOUR phone?

            No shit.

            The bastards just don't let up.

            Makes note to self. "Do not buy any Google "toilet paper" advertising products".

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Is it ?

            I am not being clever here but all I see is a small ad now and then at the bottom of the screen. Could nto tell you what they are as I filter them in my brain.

      2. Neil Alexander

        Outstanding ignorance. Google have already publicly stated that advertising on the device is banned.

    2. ThomH

      Re: Love it.

      If we apply the standards usually used by commenters on tech blogs: it isn't worth lauding in any capacity because somebody else has already done it as part of university research and vaguely comparable products have preceded it to market (eg, the Vuzix).

      Besides that, I'm pessimistic about it because as far as I can make out it's just a different way of using a mobile phone. Instead of pulling it out of your pocket to look at, it's already right there in front of your eye. So you gain pocket space and get to use your hands for something else but you lose most of the interactivity and the ability to share. How many times has one of your friends given you their phone for a few minutes, or at least waved it in front of you, to try a new game or application, or quickly to show you something on a website?

      1. Trustme

        Re: Love it.

        I agree, it's not perfect but it's first generation of something that you can go out and affordably buy and that's the difference. I'm sure people are making better stuff in labs right now, but you and I can't have them. We can have this, it's available, and others, like the Chinese one for instance, will no doubt improve on it and so on and so forth, but unless it's in the market to buy it's just a pipe dream for researchers. This is something we can all get, and its the first of it's kind to a mass market, and I think that's a significant step. If we wait until it's all things to all people it will never come out. This is version one, and for version one it's not a bad effort.

    3. Steven Roper

      Re: Love it.

      "I don't care what the naysayers, pessimists, Luddites or anyone else who poo-poos this device say, I want one."

      As do I. The potential of this technology to enhance our lives is incredible. It's exactly the kind of sci-fi invention I used to fantasise about as a kid. I would love to have the ability to record every moment of my life and be able to use it as a marvellous adjunct to my all-too-fallible memory.

      However, I want to do so on my own terms. Those terms include retaining control of the imagery and recordings and experiences taken with the device. I, and I alone, get to choose who sees what, and what is done with it. I cannot and will not tolerate having some faceless American corporation, or equally faceless police-state bureaucracy, constantly looking over my shoulder, narrowly analysing and studying my every act, for the express purpose of exploiting and manipulating me into buying things, or of controlling my life and behaviour for their benefit.

      So as it stands, Google Glass is not for me, and will never be unless and until I can guarantee that I, only I, have access to and control of the data that it creates. Hacking the device is a great start towards this end, I grant, and it opens a world of possibilities. But I'll want to be sure before I let that shit anywhere near me.

      I'm not a Luddite, so much as I subscribe to the now seemingly-outdated notion that my life is my own, and that my experiences and memories belong to me. I do not consider this notion to be unreasonable.

      1. Trustme
        Thumb Up

        Re: Love it.

        "I'm not a Luddite, so much as I subscribe to the now seemingly-outdated notion that my life is my own, and that my experiences and memories belong to me. I do not consider this notion to be unreasonable"

        Neither do I and I agree with your sentiments entirely. I was talking purely from the technological/general availability standpoint. The privacy concerns are manyfold, but as you said, it seems to be easy to jailbreak and therefore a good enough knowledge of the core OS should be able to assure you that you retain control.

    4. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Love it.

      Fine. I'll let you debug it, and receive a $1.09 class action settlement check from Larry Page when it makes you crosseyed :)

    5. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Love it.

      Why shit can things before you try them?

      I think, based upon what I have read, that this MIGHT actually be a very useful thing.


      If I want to do computing, or internetting research / porn / etc., sit down with a real computer / netbook and do it. Desk + coffee etc.

      I don't know... I do LIKE intelligent tech, but I'[d have to have one and become reasonably proficient with it to actually comment on it.

      But sometimes too... it's NICE to leave all the tech at home and just go without it for a day or two here and there.

      But there is nothing like internetting, while talking on the phone with clients / making purchases and sales... etc., as well.

      If it can run with ADD BLOCKING and other things to remove all the bullshit and to keep it as a purely functional device..

      If it's done like that - it will be great. If it's done as an add saturated stuck to your face magazine, then I think it will fail.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Love it.

      Who cares about the image..tint it pink or blue...ramp up the wavelength so it is on the terahertz level and scan the babes. Next it will have 3D pico display apps so you can play charades or wear that hat albeit a sim.

      After that the glass will disappear and go to contacts before they are replaced by direct neuro couplers etc. Book Quantum Union takes it all the way so this is only a start to total immersion of you and the machine.

  3. Craig 2

    The bigger story...

    Is that this guy is the life and soul of a dinner party.....

    1. Winkypop Silver badge

      Re: The bigger story...


      I've told you before, don't play with your fud at the dinner table!

  4. Don Jefe


    I feel like Google Glass is the next Nintendo Powerglove: Expensive, odd looking and serving no real purpose, if it works at all (I'm going to give Google the benefit of the doubt on that one).

    I've watched the videos and read the materials and I can even get past the asinine way they make the user look (that's a personal choice and all) and I just can't see or even imagine any advantage to having one (it? them?). I mean WTF does it offer me? What problem will it solve or what area of my life will it make more convenient? This seems like a solution to a problem nobody has. What difference does it make that it's hackable if it doesn't really do anything to begin with?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Powerglove

      "What problem will it solve"

      - Being able to refer to a circuit diagram without turning your head away - important when poking probes into active electronics.

      - Being able to monitor a patient's pulse, blood pressure, O2 level etc. during an operation without turning your head away.

      - Seeing someone's name pop up when you look at them - vital for those of us with poor memories for names.

      - Seeing a list of comparative prices from other vendors when you look at an item in a shop.

      - The Russian car-cam effect: lots of high quality recordings of historically important events for all to see.

      - Lots of recordings of fun times to review in your dotage, that would otherwise not be recorded.

      I could go on, but that's a start.

      1. Don Jefe

        Re: Powerglove

        But all those things already exist and have seen little uptake because they're a pain in the ass. As for people's names popping up... I can't even fathom why that would be a desirable thing as I don't live in a MMORPG & I have manners enough to pay attention to who I'm speaking with. Besides, what name would you see? The one they registered with <bing> "JimmyBigCock is now in front of you".

        1. Steve Knox

          Re: Powerglove

          Besides, what name would you see? The one they registered with <bing> "JimmyBigCock is now in front of you".

          No, the one they registered with <google>.

          1. Don Jefe

            Re: Powerglove

            Ha! I didn't even realize I had done that!

        2. James Hughes 1

          Re: Powerglove

          @Don Jefe.

          You've made Google's point with "They're a pain in the arse". With glass, they are NOT a PITA.

          I can see a multitude of useful stuff you could do with these. Not just identifying JimmyBigCock, although I've never had problems being recognised before. Your argument is a bit like saying cars are shit because I can't drive to to the top of Mount Everest.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: people's names popping up

          > I can't even fathom why that would be a desirable thing

          Ah, well you wait until you are approaching the big 60 and you find that sometimes names sit on the tip of your tongue and fail to get as far as your lips...

      2. MS Rocks

        Re: Powerglove

        Oh god, I suspect you have seen one of those videos that tech companies make of punters having the 'perfect life' whilst using their products. Please, please, do not fall for the crap that they are feeding you. The only thing that will happen if you 'adopt' this product is that you will get beaten up and your friends will laugh at you.

    2. Paul Westerman

      What problem will it solve

      People had no idea what iPads would be used for when they first appeared, but seem to have found lots of uses for them.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    All in all, those specifications mean the Glass headgear – which runs Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" – is actually more powerful than many Android phones, 40 per cent of which are still running Android 2.3 "Gingerbread."

    You realise that power and Android version have nothing to do with each other? It's also irevellent that 40% are running 2.3, as there are very few apps indeed that require Android 4, meaning those users really don't lose anything (it's only Apple that seems fascinated by Android version numbers, in the real world it makes little difference), if a user REALLY cared about getting the latest and greatest, they would surely be sporting a Nexus, which is what those devices are aimed at.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Errm....

      Unless you want to use something unimportant like the calendar API or whatever Google's decided to change because they've decided it's a nicer API that way.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Targeted advertising...?

    Oh, you really do need those penis-enlarging pills.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Targeted advertising...?

      If you wear them when naked it will be able to tell if you do...

  7. MrGoggle
    Thumb Up

    Brilliant initiative from Google's end

    I think it is good that Google are allowing devs access to the code and allow them to modify it. This should bring up some interesting concepts/uses for the device that Google may have not thought about.

    Google Glass type device is certainly something I may consider in the future. Very useful for use as an alternative to a camcorder where the user is free to enjoy a show or an event without looking through a small screen.

    1. Snapper

      Re: Brilliant initiative from Google's end

      Am I the only one worried about the invasion of the privacy of the people being recorded?

      Looking at the specs (sorry) and the quality of the result it looks like a perverts wet dream come true.

      Given that the next models won't be so obvious or will be built into the frames of real spectacles, how long before we start seeing an explosion of upskirt shots taken on the tube or bus? Take that one stage further and people being financially coerced or blackmailed into taking video's from that kindergarten they work in, or the ladies changing room at the gym.

      I'm really not looking forward to being videoed and recorded everywhere I go, by lots of individuals I don't know and who don't know me. I realize that we have a huge number of static CCTV cameras around but at least they ARE static and reasonably obvious.

      How long before a salesman in a shop you've never been in before knows your sales history and credit rating before even speaking to you? Google sell the info and the facial recognition data, heaven forfend!

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: Brilliant initiative from Google's end

        Making it hard to spot you're wearing them is a way off but you can already buy a hidden camera that lives in a button if you want to.

      2. Crisp

        Re: I'm really not looking forward to being videoed and recorded everywhere I go

        You already are.

        Ordinary people have dashboard cams, Helmet cams, nanny cams in kindergartens, webcams watching you in the street, not to mention every Tom, Dick and Harry with a mobile phone out.

      3. Ian Yates

        Re: Brilliant initiative from Google's end

        Look on the BBC today and you'll see an article about a woman parking a car being filmed. It's already here, if people want it, using phones; I don't see Glass changing that. Upskirt shorts are far easier with any of the hundreds of "spy" cameras available for sub-£100 than Glass.

        Plus, the current specs of Glass mean that you really wouldn't want to video things unless they were of real interest as the battery just doesn't last that long. Google also limited the mic to only pick up the wearer's voice properly, and their low-light ability is terrible.

        "How long before a salesman in a shop you've never been in before knows your sales history and credit rating before even speaking to you? Google sell the info and the facial recognition data, heaven forfend!"

        Google aren't that dumb. There's a legal limit (currently) to what information can be shared without direct user's consent, based around legitimate relevance to what the information was given for.

        I'm not saying Glass isn't a privacy issue, but I don't see it as any worse than current smart phones. I never know if the people on the train are holding their phone up to read the screen better or take a picture/video of me.

        Anyone know if Glass has a light to show it's recording?

  8. Confuciousmobil


    It should be saurik with a small s.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My app

    Would record credit card numbers of people waiting to pay for items in shops (film), it would then search the popular social networking sites for 'locals' to see if it could find out approximate addresses and dates of birth and any other useful information such as maiden name etc...

  10. Woodgar

    Joo Janta 200

    (the rest of the post writes itself)

  11. Oninoshiko
    Paris Hilton

    Of course he doesn't know what cool thing you should do

    if he did, Google would have just done it themselves.

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