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Google Glass: Wink for a Photo, But Don't Get Hacked

Google Glass: Wink for a Photo, But Don't Get Hacked
By Barry Levine

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Alyson Shontell of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote a story Friday about her stint with Google Glass. She first described it as "very cool," but went on to mention people's laughing reactions to her wearing it, the disorientation caused by having a digital screen over one eye, and the wearer's focus on the Google Glass screen instead of the surrounding world.
 


For a product that is still about a year away from a full release, Google Glass is certainly generating a lot of rumors and reports about its capabilities. The newest round indicates the device is well on its way to becoming a new platform.

A developer named Mike DiGiovanni has confirmed release of one of the first third-party developed apps, called Winky. Released Friday, the appropriately-named software lets you take a picture by winking your eye.

In a statement, DiGiovanni said that one "might now think it's not hard to say, 'OK, Glass, take a picture,' or even just tap a button," the two current ways to take a photo using the device. But, he added, either of those actions is "a context switch that takes you out of the moment, even if just for a second." He added that he's "taken more pictures today than I have the past 5 days" through winking, although one hopes the app can clearly distinguish between a wink and a blink.

iPhone Owners

There's also a new report that iPhone owners who get Glass will not be left out in the cold. Google has said that users wishing to employ text messaging or navigation would have to pair it with an Android phone and then install the companion app on said phone. But this week Google's New York office said those features will be available via a variety of companion devices, not only Android ones.

Glass does not interact with the Net directly, but is connected in its current incarnation through a companion device. Glass can currently work with iPhone via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, so it's just the turn-by-turn navigation or text messaging that is in question here. Eventually, Google Glass may evolve into a completely standalone device. The developer's model has a built-in compass, for instance, but not its own GPS receiver.

Meanwhile, the law of gravity -- what goes up must come down -- is beginning to assert itself for Glass. After months of breathless adoration for the concept and the emerging product, backlash stories are beginning to emerge.

Won't 'Pay More Than $150'

For instance, Alyson Shontell of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote a story Friday about her stint with the device. She first described it as "very cool," but went on to mention people's laughing reactions to her wearing it, the disorientation caused by having a digital screen over one eye, the wearer's focus on what the screen shows instead of the surrounding world, and the induced headaches.

All in all, Shontell said, it's like "wearing Siri on your face," and added that she wouldn't "pay more than $150 for the device right now."

Which means that Google is going to have to generate some pretty significant savings during scale-up in order to get to that price from the current $1,500 price tag for the developer's model.

Meanwhile, some observers are pointing to the lack of security on the device. Technology consultant Jay Freeman, also known as saurik, creator of the Cydia marketplace for jailbroken iOS devices, has posted on his blog that the developer's model has virtually no security. If a Glass is hacked, the attacker has access to what you see and do, and can overlay inaccurate information directly onto your field of vision.
 

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