Sometimes Google lives up to its genius reputation.
Over at the Google I/O conference last week, Google broke away from a good amount of the conventional restrictions, boilerplate and legalese that tend to abound in any form of commercial software development. The company hosted a “Voiding Your Warranty: Hacking Glass” session to discuss, well, hacking Google’s upcoming Glass units.
I’ve got to applaud this, as it’s piqued my interest in what can be done with the device and what can be dreamt of.
What Google is working on with Glass is in itself a new platform and a new means of wearing and using a computer and programs developed for it. Not that it makes a wearable headset any less socially awkward outside of the Bay area (and it won’t until a Glass headset becomes as casual and ubiquitous as carrying a smartphone), but Google is apparently taking the bull by the horns and, as tweeted indicated by the nigh-legendary quote of “Yes, Glass is hackable. Duh,” accepted the fate of this kind of device.
Which is, honestly, the best approach to what’s happening and going to happen.
Developers want to get their mitts on this thing and put it through its paces. No NDA or restrictions are going to stop this from happening, and where the in-house Glass development team probably has their own mindset as to how the device will be used, it’s the hacker community that can dream up a billion cool, new, demented, deranged and amazing uses for this thing. These are the people who can suggest things and not have their futures at Google judged in any way. And while most software companies only invite the hackers in under certain conditions (Q/A, mod development for video games, and selected outside security tests in networking), it’s cool to see Google open the door for those who’d happily violate their Glass warranty if they could get it to do something new and cool.
So here’s to the grand new experiment and whatever it may yield, even if it does cause Google’s lawyers to cringe just a bit more than usual. I’ll be curious to see what surfaces from it.
And in the meantime, I’ll happily try to steal the Google Glass unit they sent along to Alex Handy, even if I DO have to keep attacking him in a “Pink Panther versus Cato” way until he finally relents….