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Google: Here’s How to Hack [Root] Glass, but It Voids Your Warranty

May 16, 2013 - Written By Briley Kenney

Just like with most Android phones, if you root your pair of Google Glasses then it voids the warranty. Who didn’t see that coming, though? Strangely enough, during the Google I/O conference the company held a session on rooting the device. Even better, they titled the session “Voiding your Warrany.” During the session, Glass team members walked attendees through the root process and also showed them how to install Ubuntu on the device.

The root process for Google Glass can be described in five steps which are easier said than done:

  1. Access the bootloader
  2. Unlock Glass and erase any personal data
  3. Swap out and override the boot partition
  4. Reboot the device into a normal state
  5. Access root

P.Y. Laligand, a Google software engineer and his colleague Hyunyoung Song, were kind enough to present slides that detail the root process. These images come from ReadWrite:

To Access the Bootloader and Unlock Glass

root mode 0

root mode 1 root mode 3

After the device reboots…

Testing for Root

root mode 4

To reiterate, Laligand paired up a Bluetooth keyboard with Glass, opened a terminal window and typed these five commands into ADB:

  1. $ adb reboot bootloader:
  2. $ fastboot oem unlock:
  3. $ fastboot flash boot boot.img:
  4. $ fastboot reboot:
  5. $ adb root:

Once the device was rebooted, root access was verified and Laligand move on with his presentation.

Hyunyoung Song took a moment to point out that the process is not good for someone lacking in the appropriate knowledge. Essentially, she said that things may or may not go wrong, and Google is not responsible for whatever result comes about.

“Even though there are recovery methods, there is a chance that you could get stuck in a state from which it’s not easy for your device to be recovered, and Google will not support you.”

If you owned Glass would you root? That’s a silly question indeed, but when you consider the fact that it’s a $1500 device and rooting it voids the warranty- well, needless to say it really gets you thinking.

Personally, I can’t say what I would do if I owned Glass. I guess it all depends on what benefits I would receive from rooting the device. When it comes to my $200 phone, the positive benefits far outweigh the risk. What do you think?

Via VentureBeat