Through the (Google) Looking Glass – a Hacker’s Delight

Someone somewhere will have come up with a statistic about how much has been written about Google Glass. Presumably, if you strung the words together you would reach the Moon, or Mars. Presumably, also, if you really wanted to know and were wearing a pair, you could get that piece of information in the blink of an eye.

Google Glass has its followers, many of whom bump into people and things and spend a lot of time apologizing. There are similar products out there too. This one from Italy, found by The Insider (who also unearthed a breakthough that means you can re-charge your phone with urine – I have left the jokes to him), is interesting in that it is cheaper and it is read only. With this one the text, directions and information appears in the centre of your field of vision. This means that you you can bump into people and things and apologize, while losing track of your emails and texts at the same time.

Google Glass also has its hackers, which is both scary and funny. Google tried to be ultra conservative with what the first version could do. But that was never going to work. Human nature would never allow such solemnity. One Stephen Balaban hacked into Glass and added facial recognition software. Great. The only concern would be if someone added sound effects too. The result might be uncannily like having a rude parrot with you at all times.

The scary part is that now hackers can take over Glass, it means that they can manipulate your actions. An email telling you that you have won the lottery or a friend of a friend in Africa has left you $21 million might suddenly be opened and links clicked before your very eyes. And then, just as you are about to cross the road, Glass goes blank, your world goes dark and the screech of tyres is not a sound effect from the rude parrot.

We need to tread carefully.


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About Alex Leslie 400 Articles
Alex was Founder and CEO of the Global Billing Association (GBA), a trade body focused on the communications sector. He is a sought after speaker and chairman at leading industry conferences, and is widely published in communications magazines around the world. Until it closed, he was Contributing Editor, OSS/BSS for Connected Planet.

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