Is Google Glass hackable? Well, duh. Yes. Now, I can’t claim credit for that succinct brilliance. That’s pretty much a quote from one Google engineer’s tweet:
Yes, Glass is hackable. Duh. goo.gl/HQpLC
— Tim Bray (@timbray) April 26, 2013
No sooner was the developer model out than were attempts made at rooting the wearable tech. And Google’s reaction? Well, considering it’s responsible for one of the world’s most-watched devices, one with the potential to globally define a new category — and redefine what it means to go mobile — the stakes are high. The company wants Glass to succeed, and it has invested an incredible amount of time and energy into delivering a revolutionary experience.
But of course, if you’re going hack the thing, that doesn’t mean it won’t help you.
Enter “Voiding Your Warranty: Hacking Glass,” an extremely popular session at the I/O developer conference today. The session was apparently jam-packed with devs waiting to see the two Google [x] software engineers burrow deeply into the system. First, they showed how to program Glass without voiding the warranty and loaded some existing Android apps. Then the fun began, as they demonstrated how to gain root access (or access to the hidden system administration files). As you can see in the vid below, it took five steps to unlock the device, to remove security features, and then hack into it.
Warning: Advanced geekery ahead.
Of course, the official company line is that it doesn’t sanction, support or even recommend this. But it’s like telling kids not to play with fire, then giving them matches and kindling. In other words, if you mess up your Glass, don’t go crying to Google. But hey, if hacking allows you to do something really neat and innovative, then the company is all for it.
Couldn’t make it I/O yourself? Don’t fret. Google Developer YouTube channel has a lot of goodies from the conference, as does Developers.Google.com/Live. You can find all sorts of technical sessions in there direct from the company.