Google Glass has been Google’s most controversial product in recent memory. The device brings up many privacy concerns that society hasn’t quite come up with an answer for just yet. Congress is even looking into potential legislation to control how Glass can be used (a most efficient use of their time, I’m sure.) Glass is shrouded in mystery because, well, nobody is really sure what it’s going to be used for.
Very few people have had the privilege of using Google Glass. As of this writing only Google employees and winners of the Google Glass Explorers program have been able to experience the wearable hardware. Explorers even paid a $1500 after they won the competition to use Glass. Today, thanks to dev hacker extraordinaire Zhuowei Zhang, many people will get to try them on for free! Well… maybe not try them on.
Zhang has taken the glass source code released to the community and modified it to run on Android phones. Believe it or not it actually works! You sadly won’t get the full augmented reality glass experience, unless you duct tape your phone directly to your forehead (please don’t do that!) However, you do get a cool glimpse into the software that makes the whole experience possible.
By downloading the hacked Glass home APK, then grabbing the Camera, Maps and Setup plugins you can shout out, “ok glass” commands to your heart’s content. Not everything works. The Glass Maps application, for example, sadly will not recognize taps. It refuses to go beyond the warning screen above. I even ran into some of the infamous voice recognition problems. When I asked glass for directions to Jackson, it instead did a Google search for Samuel Jackson. Everybody loves Samuel Jackson, but I don’t think I would want him plastered to my eyeball when I”m trying to get home!
While the developer didn’t mention anything about this, don’t expect compatibility to be perfect with your device. It runs swimmingly on my Nexus 4 (logical considering Google Glass internals are essentially a Galaxy Nexus.) This doesn’t mean it will work with anything else. Warnings aside you can download the APKs at this site. If they somehow damage your device it is, of course, not my fault!
If you gave Glass a try let us know how it went in the comment section below. Also, make sure to share plenty of screenshots to trick people into thinking you actually got a pair of Glasses. Their jealousy/mockery is hilarious.