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Google CEO Confirms that Glass Runs on Android

By - Source: TechCrunch | B 16 comments

It's official: Google Glass is based on Android.

We kinda saw this one coming: Google Glass is based on Android. Company CEO Larry Page made the revelation during Google's 1Q13 earnings call on Thursday.

Towards the end of the call (1:08), Page responded to a question about the amount of "incremental engagement" Google will see over the next several years regarding the company's products and new form factors like Glass. The questioner also asked how transportable Android will be across these new form factors.

"Obviously Glass runs on Android," Page said. "So [Android] has been pretty transportable across devices, and I think that will continue."

Prior to that, he addressed the "incremental engagement" aspect of the question, and even mentioned "watches and things". He acknowledged that computers are a big part of everyone's life, and it's increasing as they grow more and more useful. Because we only have twenty-four hours in a day, the usefulness of the consumer's engagement will increase.

Prior to the earnings call, it was unknown what was powering the Google Glass hardware. Google hadn't mentioned a thing, and it was presumed to be Android. But recent reports suggested otherwise, that Google chose to create a proprietary platform separate from Android instead. That doesn't make any sense from a business and compatibility standpoint, but whatever.

Although Glass isn't capable of launching complex apps, having the face-mounted tech running the same base platform used on millions of smartphones and tablets is undoubtedly good news for Android/Glass developers to some degree. But as pointed out by CNET, Glass still has its own separate API (application programming interface) called Mirror, meaning developers won't simply create Android apps that take advantage of the Glass hardware.

Google released the specs list for Glass earlier this week, revealing a 5MP camera capable of shooting 720p video. Other features include a bone conduction transducer for pumping audio into the wearer's ear, Wireless G and Bluetooth connectivity, 12 GB of internal storage (16 GB total), and a high-resolution screen that's the equivalent of a 25-inch high definition screen from eight feet away.

The specs are currently landing in the hands of those who bought into the company's Explorer program for a hefty $1500 USD (you'd think it would have Wireless N for that price). The consumer version isn’t expected to launch until the end of 2013 or possibly into 1Q14, depending on how the Explorer program goes.

So, with all that said, what version of Android does Glass use? The Myglass companion app for smartphones requires Android 4.0.3 "Ice Cream Sandwich" or higher, so maybe it's a version of that at least (pure speculation). However Glass will work with any Bluetooth-capable phone, according to Google.

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Top Comments
  • 15 Hide
    Azn Cracker , April 21, 2013 4:41 PM
    wait, i thought it was gonna run on ios.. wtf?
Other Comments
  • 2 Hide
    plznote , April 21, 2013 4:02 PM
    The girl is hot.
  • 15 Hide
    Azn Cracker , April 21, 2013 4:41 PM
    wait, i thought it was gonna run on ios.. wtf?
  • 5 Hide
    Immoral Medic , April 21, 2013 6:34 PM
    Runs on Windows 8. All you see is tiles.
  • -2 Hide
    utroz , April 21, 2013 6:38 PM
    Google and everyone else know that sexiness sell products, hence the nice blonde modeling Google Glass. Apple does the same thing with its products and we all know how much they sell. I am highly interested to see just how well Google Glass will work, it could be a game changer especially if you can wirelessly connect to say a tablet or pc for game play and other things like content creation in a 3D environment but guessing from the fact it only has wireless G it might not be capable of that till they make the next generation or so. That would be sweet if it happen.
  • 2 Hide
    Gundam288 , April 21, 2013 10:17 PM
    My only question is: Can we load our own OS onto it? I'm kinda expecting someone to make a Terminator like OS and load it onto Glass. That would be epic.
  • 0 Hide
    palladin9479 , April 22, 2013 12:51 AM
    Guys there is something more. Will Google create an API that allows other devices to interact with glass and exchange data? What I mean is like your car or cell phone. The car could inject sensor and gauge data into glass for a HUD like effect. Cars are also appearing with front facing collision detected radar systems that check for objects approaching the vehicle. That telemetry information could be displayed on your HUD and allow you to spot things that otherwise you might not see. Just imagine the wealth of sensor information available all around you that's just not feasible to display on small screens but that could easily be presented over a transparent HUD.
  • 0 Hide
    builder4 , April 22, 2013 1:38 AM
    The equivalent of a 25 inch screen from 8 feet away? That's actually pretty small. The Project Glass videos on Youtube imply it fills your field of view: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9c6W4CCU9M4
  • 0 Hide
    ojas , April 22, 2013 5:34 AM
    OH NOES REALLY?
  • 2 Hide
    InvalidError , April 22, 2013 5:57 AM
    Quote:
    That telemetry information could be displayed on your HUD and allow you to spot things that otherwise you might not see. Just imagine the wealth of sensor information available all around you that's just not feasible to display

    Imagine the amount of real-world first-hand observations you may miss from being distracted/obstructed by your HUD. Cars have dashboards that already display all essential data and audio+visible warnings for some of the more critical stuff.

    Having all that stuff duplicated on a HUD may sound neat but I bet many people would suffer from sensory overload from having so much unnecessary information duplication spamming their field of view.
  • 0 Hide
    g00fysmiley , April 22, 2013 8:46 AM
    not running on O/S2 warp?
  • 1 Hide
    sundragon , April 22, 2013 9:46 AM
    Runs Windows, user sees BSOD and walks into light pole...
  • 0 Hide
    tenchinage , April 23, 2013 7:51 AM
    A Google product on Android ? What a shocker ! Sorry, couldn't resist ^^
  • 0 Hide
    palladin9479 , May 5, 2013 7:10 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    That telemetry information could be displayed on your HUD and allow you to spot things that otherwise you might not see. Just imagine the wealth of sensor information available all around you that's just not feasible to display

    Imagine the amount of real-world first-hand observations you may miss from being distracted/obstructed by your HUD. Cars have dashboards that already display all essential data and audio+visible warnings for some of the more critical stuff.

    Having all that stuff duplicated on a HUD may sound neat but I bet many people would suffer from sensory overload from having so much unnecessary information duplication spamming their field of view.


    And every combat pilot has proven you wrong, several times over again.
  • 0 Hide
    InvalidError , May 6, 2013 7:09 AM
    Quote:
    And every combat pilot has proven you wrong, several times over again.

    There are a few major differences between soldiers/pilots and normal people:
    1- soldiers/pilots are trained and drilled for hundreds of hours to bake bad reflexes and timely use of available resources into them in various scenarios
    2- pilots cannot fly solely based on what they see so HUD or not, they spend a lot of their time reading radar screens and other instruments because by the time they can see something without radar or other warning first, it may already be too late and in many modern tactical missions, they rely on cameras to track targets well beyond natural sight's range
    3- similarly, foot-soldier HUDs show them mission-critical info they would not have access to otherwise - at least not without substituting some other form of more crippling distraction
    4- pilot / soldier HUDs do not provide access to unnecessary distractions like Google Glass most likely will

    When driving around, your HUD would merely duplicate non-critical information that is already available on the dashboard, which is not particularly useful: if you have a "sense of speed", you can guess your current speed pretty accurately from engine sound, how far you pressed the gas pedal and visuals. If your car is running properly, engine temperature should be a no-concern. Your gas tank won't suddenly empty itself unless it springs a leak so there is no need to check more often than necessary to avoid running dry, etc. If anything unusual happens, most cars have warning bells or lights to draw your attention to the dashboard if something else does not draw your attention to the problem first. So pretty much all the information that could end up on an untrained driver's HUD is most likely to be an unnecessary distraction.

    Even voice conversations over hands-free are known to significantly increase risk of driving accidents so there are places banning or considering to ban hands-free as well. I would expect visual distractions to be much worse. Also, how many Google Glass drivers would have sufficient discipline to resist the temptation of reading their SMS/IM when they are only one voice command or blink away?
  • 0 Hide
    palladin9479 , May 6, 2013 5:45 PM
    You don't keep up with modern luxury cars do you?

    Here is a hint, digital HUD's and FLIR have already been available to the consumer population and they've enhanced driver capabilities not lowered.
  • 0 Hide
    InvalidError , May 6, 2013 8:34 PM
    Quote:
    Here is a hint, digital HUD's and FLIR have already been available to the consumer population and they've enhanced driver capabilities not lowered.

    That remains to be seen.

    The ultimate test for that lies 7-10 years down the road where all those fancy systems will trickle down to more mainstream cars with new young drivers learning to drive with the car doing most of the thinking for them; as if it wasn't already hard enough to get them to focus.

    Technology may be able to prevent some crashes but it is also known to induce people into error, cause people to lose focus due to information overload and also cause some crashes of its own due to mechanical/electrical/sensor/servo/driver/software/etc. failure.

    Not convinced I would want to be on the same streets as someone who has been relying on HUD his whole life to tell him how to drive when his HUD fails for whatever reason or if he has to drive a car without it.