Notable Google Glass Hacks and Mods of 2013

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Glass comes with a decent amount of features out-of-the-box, but there’s a lot more that it could be used for. While many developers are working on applications for Google Glass, there are a lot of people modifying the hardware and using it for their own projects. There are other developers who are creating their own OS and taking full advantage of the current hardware.

Currently there are several notable hacks that have been implemented with Google Glasses that are just mind-blowing or flat out awesome. So, yeah. Below are some of the Google Glass hacks and mods that people have done during 2013.

Installing and Running Ubuntu


During a Google I/O conference, developers demoed how to root Google Glass and how to install Ubuntu. This hack was accomplished by rooting Glass and installing Ubuntu through VNC/SSH. While it’s nothing amazing, it’s still pretty geeky and cool to see.

Eye Tracking/Mario

This hack uses a $25 webcam and infra-red LEDs to track your eye movements. The eye movements can then be used to control a virtual keyboard or even Mario.

Grand Theft Auto GPS 


Thanks to this clever hack, you can view GTA’s GPS right on your Glass device. The hack works by running an app on your computer that captures the portion of the screen with the GPS and then sends it off to your Glass device. On the glass device, you have another application that “listens” for the GPS visuals and then shows them on the display. While this hack/app currently isn’t released, the developer has plans to release it sometime in the future.

Control Appliances with Google Glass

We wrote a post regarding this modification. If you mod Glass with an IR emitter, some wifi radios and a microcontroller you get the ability to control appliances by just looking at them. A neat little mod that I’m sure most Glass enthusiasts can’t wait to see more of in the future. Something like this built-in by default would be pretty neat.

Sun Shade Mod


Who would have thought that a simple $2.42 mod would make Google Glass so much better? If you have a 3D printer, then you can download and print your own shades for Google Glass. The shades not only make Google Glass a lot more enjoyable to use in the sun, but it also stops people from knowing when you’re using Google Glass. People don’t know when you’re using Glass, because the simple sunshade mod conceals the Glass’s light. Making it easy for you to be a tad bit more creepy!

Face Recognition API

Credit: Lambda

Credit: Lambda

I’m not sure if I should qualify this as a hack or a mod or both, but it’s pretty incredible. An engineer at Lambda Labs is creating an alternative operating system that runs on Glass and has facial recognition. This has alerted many people to question Google and the developer about privacy issues, but so far nothing has been implemented to prevent similar hacks/mods from being developed.


So those are what we would consider to be the top Google Glass mods and hacks of 2013. Hopefully there will be more to come from the modding/hacking world for Google Glass. Anyway, what hack do you think is the most interesting hack?

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Josh P

About Josh P

I'm a tech enthusiast and master procrastinator that currently resides in Saint Louis. My days are usually spent reading and writing, but I do enjoy gaming occasionally as well.

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December 12, 2013