It was only a matter of time before the first facial recognition project for Google Glass was started. That project was announced earlier this week by Lambda Labs, and the Google Glass team has now backed away from the technology on Google+. According to the post, Google won't approve any "Glassware" utilizing facial recognition due to privacy concerns. The key word here is approve.
Lambda Labs, a small start-up out of San Francisco, is set to drag us kicking and screaming into the dystopian sci-fi future we all knew was coming. Okay, that might be overstating the point, but the company has announced its intention to release a facial recognition API for Google Glass this week. Should this pan out, you'll always have to wonder if that fellow wearing Google Glass remembered your name, kid's age, and occupation because he has a good memory, or because the cloud told him.
Google Glass is very much an experimental piece of hardware and it turns out the software has been built with that ethos in mind, too. With root and a few carefully-crafted ADB commands, you can enable a ton of experimental features the Google has built into the Glass software.
Over on Github, Zhuowei Zhang has posted the whole list of Glass Labs features, and how to enable them. Zhuowei isn't a Glass explorer though, so it's been up to me to be the guinea pig and actually try this stuff.
Just ask our own Ron Amadeo and he'll tell you there are a myriad of reasons Google Glass isn't like other computing devices. It changes the way you interact with data and contextual information, but it's also not a true consumer product just yet. The Google Glass Explorer Edition was released with a number of caveats, including the stipulation that owners were forbidden from selling or loaning the device to someone else.
Ah, Google Glass. Though the venerable headset has a lot of potential, it has yet to become something people want to use all the time. If you're a social media addict, a news junkie, or a productivity pro, though, Google's heads-up computer just got a lot more compelling. Today at I/O, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, CNN, Elle, and Evernote pledged to support Glass by releasing official applications - "glassware," as Google calls them.
Heads up, Google, Glass is about to get some serious competition. Recon Instruments, a Canadian technology company known for athlete-focused heads-up display products, is looking to expand into general-purpose HUD technology. The company's prototype device - dubbed Jet - was officially unveiled today, and Recon Instruments hopes to release a retail product by the end of this year.
At first glance, the Jet looks like little more than a pair of sunglasses with an attached LCD screen; you won't be mistaking Recon Instrument's HUD for Google's anytime soon.
Have you heard? The popped collar is coming back. But that's sooo last year now that we have Google Glass. Presenting: 5 popped Google Glasses (combined current value of $7,500 or more like $8k if you count taxes), because having 4 popped Glasses on isn't nearly as cool.
Right part of the image credit: +Adib Towfiq
Left part of the image credit: Someone on the Interwebs, who the hell knows.
The big XE5 update just hit the interwebs, so that means it's time for a teardown! XE5 is still Android 4.0.4 based, but now we're up to build 4.0.4-665738; the old version was 4.0.4-625737.
The Glass Team is still extraordinarily messy; any new file usually has copies in a million different locations. Basically, everything ships in every APK.
So, to rectify this great injustice of the Internet (and because people keep asking me, personally) we've decided to hit you up with the Glass system dump. The Explorer program seems to be all about hacking and experimentation, so hopefully Google adopts an open policy towards posting Glass code.
Wow. So when Glass was first making the rounds, we heard a few rumblings about a ridiculously fast update cycle; something like monthly updates. Sure enough, it seems like Google is delivering on that sort-of rumored promise:
Today, less than a month after the Glass unit left Google HQ, there's a new update: Version XE5. There's no public change log, but Phandroid says they emailed Google and got back the following list:
New features in XE5:
- Change to sync policy: require power + wifi for background uploads
- Crash reporting
- Incoming G+ notifications (direct shares, comments, +mentions), including ability to comment and +1
- Incoming Hangout notifications
- Transcription of queries & messages is now wicked-fast
- Long-press to search from anywhere in the UI (no longer just from off)
- International number dialing + SMS
- Hop animation on disallowed swipes in the UI
- New On-Head Detection calibration flow
- Show device Serial Number on Device Info card
- More reliable estimation of battery charge remaining
- New recipient-list mosaic
Google+ integration sounds awesome;
the only problem is it doesn't actually work right now.