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Google Glass unlocked and loaded with Ubuntu at Google I/O

In an interesting session at Google I/O 2013 titled "Voiding Your Warranty: Hacking Glass", the revolutionary product from Google was demonstrated upon and loaded with Ubuntu. Now that's something!

Developers at Google I/O 2013 demonstrated a Google Glass being unlocked, given root access and later successfully booting up with Ubuntu in a catchy session titled "Voiding Your Warranty: Hacking Glass". The word "hack" here doesn't refer to illegal activity or gaining forced entry to something off limits (as people usually associate it with) but rather the true meaning word for word straight out of Urban Dictionary and i quote:

To program a computer in a clever, virtuosic, and wizardly manner. Ordinary computer jockeys merely write programs; hacking is the domain of digital poets. Hacking is a subtle and arguably mystical art, equal parts wit and technical ability, that is rarely appreciated by non-hackers.

The developers at Google took quite some time to complete this task, but were nonetheless successful. Here's a list of things that were done in serial order to successfully get Ubuntu booting:

  1. Loading Google Glass with a Launcher, Settings and Notepad APKs.
  2. Pairing it up with a keyboard and trackpad.
  3. Getting into the terminal and unlocking Google Glass.
  4. Gaining Root access.
  5. Begin Ubuntu installation procedure
  6. Load Terminal Emulator and complete the Ubuntu installation procedure.

The entire session is available on YouTube with the Ubuntu session starting at about the 5:53:00 time mark.

The ability to load Google Glass with a different OS opens up so many new possibilities. A new OS, a different experience (of course, has to be optimized first), different apps and perhaps more alternative OS options for Glass. The easy hack-ability of Google Glass has opens up some really exciting opportunities. We wouldn't be surprised to see people playing games on their Glass soon (say split the game hud between your phone and Glass, perhaps in a Sci-Fi shooter game). We can't wait to see the product in it's final form and what developers/hackers would do with it, considering Google leaves the final hardware unlocked as well.

Source: Google I/O 2013

Preetam Nath
A 3rd year engineering student, Preetam Nath has a keen interest in following the smartphone and tablet sphere. He plays games on his favorite old PC when he's not doing anything. In the mornings, you can often find him at the gym.

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