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Google Glass Has Hidden Features, Including One That Always Listens

by Brandon Russell | May 25, 2013May 25, 2013 1:00 pm PDT

Google Glass demonstration

Turns out Google Glass, everyone’s favorite privacy invader, has a few experimental features buried deep inside its software. While the technology is still very exploratory in nature, and isn’t anywhere near consumer availability, Google is holding back some features as developers continue to work on experiences for the wearable computer. One of those untapped features, discovered by Zhuowei Zhang, includes a constant listening mode.

By allowing “OK_GLASS_EVERYWHERE,” Glass will always listen for a wearer’s command, no matter where that user is within the software. Right now, Glass only responds to OK Glass from Glass’s home screen; enabling the hidden mode would allow you to command the tech from anywhere. An always listening mode would sure make Glass feel more future-y, immediate—a personal face Jarvis—but it also sounds uncomfortably odd.

Another big feature lying in wait is the ability to snap a picture just by winking, which has already been enabled by a previous developer. One of the bigger talking points of Glass is its potential to intrude on someone’s privacy—Congress even sent a letter to Google about Glass—and simply winking will make snapping pictures a breeze. Google argues that there are obvious visual cues that Glass is taking your picture, but eliminating the voice element makes creep shots that much sneakier.

There are many other hidden features discovered by Zhang, including the ability to quickly view a website, video stabilization, a touch voice menu and the ability to snap a picture while simultaneously taking five seconds of video. You can argue all day about Glass’s potential privacy follies, but it sounds more Star Trek-y every day.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...