Google Glass XE5 OTA Update and System Dump Download

Yesterday, Google began rolling out the first OTA (over the air) update for the Glass Explorer Edition, dubbed XE5. (Glass shipped running XE4.) This shouldn’t be surprising at all. Google has said from the beginning that Glass would receive monthly updates, during the Explorer program while they continually improve the Glass experience.  Seeing as Glass is pretty battery conscious, to get started, you’ll have to plug your Glass into your computer or your charger to begin the update process.

Note: If you’re using Head-On detection or Winky, the application that let’s you wink to take a photo, you’ll need to re-calibrate each of these after you apply the update.


What’s new in the Glass XE5 OTA Update?

  • 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

If you’re big into Google+ (why aren’t you?), you’ll love this update as it adds much needed Google+ integration for notifications and Hangouts. As you can see below, the page corner is turned up because Jake replied, making this a conversation which can be viewed on Glass.


If you aren’t lucky enough to have received Glass yet, there’s still a way to tinker and look under the hood thanks to system dumps. We’ve been lucky enough to have a private system dump of the XE4 edition of Glass for a a while now and it’s proved to be a lot of fun. The guys over at Android Police have posted the updated XE5 version for your downloading pleasure. If you like to tinker with Android, we suggest you take a look.


Have you noticed any other changes with Glass XE5? Let us know.

[APP] Bulletproof: A lock screen for Google Glass

If you’re a Google Glass Explorer, you’re no doubt getting questions left and right about Glass. Chances are, many people want to try on your Glass, to see what the hype is about. Before you allow someone to demo your Glass, you can easily put Glass into Guest Mode, so people don’t see your personal timeline. That’s all well and good for when you allow someone to use Glass, but what if someone uses Glass without your permission? Enter Bulletproof. A lock screen for Google Glass.


Now you don’t have to worry about a co-worker snatching Glass off of your desk and reading your personal notifications or worse. With Bulletproof, you can use a combination of swipes and taps on the Glass touchpad to unlock your device. As you can see above, the UI is very minimal, just like Glass itself. The text at the bottom of the lock screen slides across, confirming each swipe command. While the screenshots look similar to the Android 4.x lock screens, Mike DiGiovanni stated Bulletproof is not based on those, having been designed from scratch.

Will you have to unlock Glass every time you want to use it? No way, thanks to Head-On detection. If you have Head On detection enabled, you’ll only have to unlock Glass once, that is until you take it off and put it back on again.

Pretty much, I put it on in the morning, unlock it then, and I’m good until I have to recharge, take it off, or let someone try it.

If you haven’t guessed it, this app isn’t a true Glass app. It’s an Android app. You’ll have to install Bulletproof by putting your Glass into debug mode and then use ADB to install it.  It’s worth mentioning  if you leave your Glass in debug mode, Bulletproof could easily be uninstalled, if someone truly wants to get into your device. It’s best to keep debug mode off, unless you’re using it.

Mike has posted his work on GitHub and hopes for the community to contribute to the open source project.

Google Glass Eye Gestures Shows Up Again In Kernel Source and GlassGestures APK Teardown

Earlier this week week, we reported that eye gesture control was discovered in the MyGlass Android application, hinting at eye winking calibration and winking to take a picture would be enabled at some point. Two new hints that Google Glass will eventually support eye gestures and winking have show up thanks to Google publishing the kernel source code and Glass Explorers finding out that Glass shipped unlocked, for developers to easily tinker with.

If you download the Glass kernel source code and take a look at glasshub.c you’ll see references to wink.



While the above code could relate to anything but an actual human eye wink, let’s move onto something we can confirm thanks to an APK teardown.  The following  code snippets, images, and video were taken directly from GlassGestures.apk located in the Google Glass /system/app/ directory. The GlassGestures.apk includes various files for Wink Gestures and Animations.


From what we can tell from the above, Glass users will calibrate Wink Gestures from a configuration card. The card will include a winking animation (example below) as well as a video demonstration (seen below).



During calibration, users will “Look straight ahead – not at Glass – and wink”. You’ll do this twice to configure your Glass winking ability.


After successful completion, you’ll see a message stating “Now you can wink anytime to take a photo”. If your calibration fails, you’ll be prompted with a failure message or asking if you need additional help.


Source : Photo Credit

Google Glass Kernel Source Code Released!

Following yesterday’s exciting news that Glass is extremely easy to root, Google has released the Glass kernel source code. Glass being easy to root makes sense, Glass is basically a Galaxy Nexus. You almost look at a Nexus device and it roots itself. You only need to type a few commands, unlocking the bootloader and you’re pretty much set. No exploits. No Hacks. Anyways, now that the Glass kernel source has been published, Android and Glass developers can begin doing what they do best, customization.

Is anyone else excited to see the mods and tweaks that kernel developers will bring to Glass? As an avid custom ROM flasher, I can’t wait. To get started, head on over to Google Code and download the attached tarball.

Ethan Bresnick takes us inside Augmedix for a look at Glass and the future of telemedicine.

Ethan Bresnick spent some time with the Augmedix crew and got to bring his camera along, giving us an extensive hands on view of Glass. Co-founded by Stanford grads Ian Shakil and Pelu Tran, Augmedix has already raised $55,000 to bring their vision of Glass powered medicine to life.

Shakil’s Upstart Project makes their intentions clear:

 I intend to launch a Google Glass healthcare application that will revolutionize the world of medicine as we know it.

A handful of his 32 backers hold senior positions at Google, and about 10 have become mentors. “These relationships are far more valuable than the money,” he said.

Upstart, the venture organization backing Augmedix, secured $5.9 million in investment from a roster of high-profile investors, including IronPort cofounder Scott Bannister, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, and Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt. So far, Augmedix seems to be the only Glass related project they have backed.

Check out the gallery and video of Augmedix’s Glass test unit below:

Google Glass Eye Gestures Control Found in Code

Someday you might be able to take a picture with Glass just by winking. Eye Gesture event code has been found in the MyGlass Android companion app that suggests this feature might be coming later down the road.


The code suggests you’ll be able to enable and disable this option, similar to Head Gestures, used to wake Glass from sleep. The code includes events for Wink Calibration success and failure and finally the action for winking to take a photo with Glass.

Glass Eye Gestures

Privacy concerns are running rampant as Glass moves closer and closer to public release. For those in favor of Glass, we’ve argued that you have to still physically press a button or mention out loud that you wish to take a picture with Glass. With the possibility of taking pictures with Glass with Eye Gestures, we’ll have to find a new counterpoint. In the end, you should still ask permission before taking a photo of anyone with Glass.

It’s also worth mentioning that the above included code snippet mentions a ‘Browser’. At this time, the Glass Explorer Edition does not include a web browser.

What other possibilities do you see for Eye Gestures with Glass in the future? Let us know.

Sources :

  1. Photo Credit
  2. Reddit

HOWTO: Google Glass Voice Commands

Google Glass comes with a handful of Voice Commands right out of the box. With Glass you can do a lot of things like a Google search, take a picture, record a video, send messages, make phone calls, and even start a Google+ Hangout. To get started, all you have to do is say “ok glass” followed by the appropriate voice command.

To get started, make sure your Glass display is active. If the Glass display is not ready to go, you can wake Glass up by touching the touchpad or using Head Wake by lifting your head. After Glass is ready, saying “ok glass” will display all voice commands on your display. To scroll through the list, you can tilt your head or swipe the touchpad back and forth. If this isn’t ideal, without speaking you can open the list of voice command by double tapping the touchpad while on the Home screen.

Google Glass Voice Commands

ok glass, google

To search using the best search engine in the world, simply say “ok glass, google ‘William Shatner Bacon number’”, for example. To search Google even quicker, just long press the touchpad and say your search query, even without the display being active.

ok glass, take a picture

Besides using the camera button to take a picture, you can do it completely hands free by saying “ok glass, take a picture”. After the picture is taken, you’ll see a brief preview before being saved to your timeline. Don’t forget to ask someone for consent before taking their picture.

ok glass, record a video

Want to record hands free video? No problem, just say “okay glass, record a video” and you’ll see a live preview of your recording with a counter. By default, videos only record for 10 seconds. To record a video longer than 10 seconds, while recording, tap your touchpad and select Extend video. To stop the extended recording, tap the touchpad again and swipe to select Stop recording. You can also use the camera button to record a video by holding it down for one second. Don’t forget to ask someone for consent before taking their picture.

ok glass, get directions to

Need directions? You’ll first need to enable this feature through the MyGlass app for Android.  Next, just say “ok glass, get  directions to ‘the nearest Chinese restaurant’” or wherever you want to go such as “1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA”. After your directions are found you can swipe through the listings and then tap upon the desired result. To stop navigating or switch to walking or biking directions, tap the touchpad.

ok glass, send a message to

To send voice to text translated messages with Glass, simply say “ok glass, send a message to Derek Ross” or whomever your contact is followed by your message. For example: “ok glass, send a message Derek Ross you’re awesome”. Messages are sent by email unless you have the MyGlass application installed. If the app is installed and the contact has a phone number, an SMS message will be sent. You can add contacts to Glass through the MyGlass website or the MyGlass app.

ok glass, make a call to

To call someone through Glass, you’ll have to pair your device to your phone via Bluetooth. Once paired, just say “ok glass, make a call to Kate Upton” and if you’re lucky enough to have her number, Glass will make the call.

ok glass, hang out with

Thanks to Glass, others can see what you’re seeing anywhere in the world with a Google+ Hangout. To start one, simply say “ok glass, hang out with Sergey Brin” or “ok glass, hang out with Foodies” to Hangout with your Foodies Circle. Your Hangout is then posted on your Google+ stream for the appropriate person or Circle to see. Don’t forget to add your Google+ contacts via the MyGlass site or app before starting a Hangout.

For more information on the above Google Glass Voice Commands, head on over to the official Glass Support site.

ChromeOS hacker Hexxeh reports easy root in Google Glass

While you were sleeping, noted ChromeOS hacker Hexxeh passed the night ripping apart the software guts of his Glass unit, and discovered a method for both getting shell, and root, on Google Glass. It started with him noticing a “debug” mode.

In the process, he discovered that there is a simple OEM unlock method included in the software:

Using ClockworkMod, motivated geeks could potentially use a similar method to rooting Android phones, by creating a custom recovery partition with the bootloader unlocked.

Previously, we’ve discussed how limited the initial Mirror API is; if roll your own ROM modding becomes the norm in Glass, we’ll quickly see that fall behind us as intrepid rooters push the limits of the hardware. Rooting and modding helped drive the growth of Android, and could be a catalyst to more rapid adoption of Google Glass.

Are you digging into the technical specs and software behind Google Glass and want to share your findings? Send an email to news at livingthruglass dot com.

UPDATE: Googler Tim Bray checks in on the conversation:

First Easter Egg Found in Google Glass – Team Photo

IO2012 Explorer Jay Lee picked up his Glass on Wednesday and was playing around with the unit and stumbled on an Easter Egg.  No, you don’t have to head knod the Konami Code to access the Easter Egg either.

 If you go to Settings -> Device info -> View licenses, wait for the license file to open and then tap the touchpad 9 times (you’ll hear an audible beep increasing in pitch each time), you’ll get a chance to meet the Google Glass team in an awesome panorama shot!

Jay was able to use the MyGlass App to view the panorama image of the Project Glass team on his phone and screenshot the images.  The panorama appears to be done with Glass in the Google X building and was hidden by Mike LeBeau.

I found time to sneak this easter egg into our Glass release because I think our team rocks and deserves to be memorialized inside the product. I always put an easter egg into whatever I’m building – but that was fast! I’m shocked that our Explorers found it this quickly! Nice work +Jay Lee.  – Mike LeBeau

This is not the first team photo Easter Egg in tech though much cooler than the Win 95 team photo because it was taken with Glass. Now, someone with Glass try the Konami Code, just in case. Maybe verbal or head movements will activate another Easter Egg in Glass.