back to article Google Glass eye-cam to turn us all into right little winkers

Google Glass users are set to look even more ridiculous following the release of code which allows the headset's wearer to take photographs by winking. Developer Mike DiGiovanni has released an app he calls Winky, which snaps an image when the user opens and then closes one eye. He has uploaded the Android source code to …

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  1. Elmer Phud Silver badge
    Coat

    An old joke

    . . . stop throwing sand in his eyes, Missus

    1. Tom_

      This is daft

      I can still see when I wink. It's when I blink that I miss things.

      Therefore it would make sense to take a picture every time I blink, allowing me to check everything remained in order at my convenience.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This is daft

        "Therefore it would make sense to take a picture every time I blink[...]"

        Do cameras work against Weeping Angels?

        1. James Micallef Silver badge
          Devil

          Not a wink??

          "snaps an image when the user opens and then closes one eye"

          Is this a Web 2.0 wink? There was me thinking that winking is closing and then opening one eye

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Provide your own evidence

    for any sexual harassment cases brought against you

  3. Pat 11

    Seriously? People think this is all going to be OK?

    This is covert filming without consent. How long before some bright spark does version that automatically starts taking pictures when <your image recognition preference > is in the frame?

    I predict violence.

    1. Crisp Silver badge

      Re: Seriously? People think this is all going to be OK?

      And who are you to tell me that I'm not allowed to document my own life?

      1. LinkOfHyrule
        Joke

        Re: Seriously? People think this is all going to be OK?

        Document your own life all you want, start peeking into my life and you might actually experience an event worth documenting!

        1. LinkOfHyrule

          Re: Seriously? People think this is all going to be OK?

          Or put it another way, why should you go round filming people for no reason what so ever except you happen to own some silly glasses? I don't think most sane people will think its either a) very nice to go round filming people for no reason and b) worth doing.

          Might as well just let David Cameron install a webcam in my toilet and be done with it. I think these things are a step to far in terms of eroding privacy.

          1. Crisp Silver badge

            Re: why should you go round filming people

            Check out all the road traffic accidents that have been documented on youtube. There's one application right there.

            And if I am walking through a park wearing a Google glass and some guy lamps me for it, Then I'll have documented evidence of his assault.

            1. Jediben
              Devil

              Re: why should you go round filming people

              And you'll have all the witness in the queue formed behind him as well.

          2. Graham Marsden
            Boffin

            @LinkOfHyrule - Re: Seriously? People think this is all going to be OK?

            "Might as well just let David Cameron install a webcam in my toilet and be done with it"

            No, the correct comparison would be *you* installing a webcam in your toilet. Nobody is forcing you to wear these glasses.

            1. Stevie Silver badge

              @Graham Marsden Re: @LinkOfHyrule - Seriously? People think this is all going to be OK?

              I fear you are unclear on the concept. No-one is campaigning to prevent you using your Googletat in your own home.

              It's what you do when you come outside and join the rest of the world that people are worried about. If you put your doings on Facebook you only have yourself to blame. If someone else puts them up, that is an entirely different matter.

              And there should be specific and harsh criminal penalties for using this idiot technology while driving, akin to the drink driving statutes. I was almost killed yesterday crossing a carpark when a woman in an SUV first pulled across my path to park in a firefighter access zone, barely missing me and blocking me from the sidewalk I had been aiming for, then, when I walked around her vehicle she abruptly reversed it for no apparent reason, hitting me. All she had working against her was the iPhone she was holding while driving and a black glass rear windshield. Add Googletat to this scenario and it gets super-dangerous for everyone not in the car.

              There's no self-governor on stupid.

              1. Graham Marsden

                @Stevie - Re: @Graham Marsden @LinkOfHyrule - Seriously? People think this is all going to be OK?

                If you are doing something in a public space you have *no* right to expectation of privacy!

                However I do agree that there should be stronger penalties applied to people using any "distracting technology" whilst in control of a vehicle. If you do something stupid which hurts you, that's your problem. If it hurts someone else, that's a legal problem.

            2. LinkOfHyrule
              Happy

              Re: @LinkOfHyrule - Seriously? People think this is all going to be OK?

              Well who knows what Google will end up doing with all the video? Who knows what the Google Glass wearer will do with it! I don't want to be stalked by google in the real world, its bad enough online!

              Maybe the video functionality could have a decent use - when the users of google glass go blind maybe the camera can be directly connected to their brains to restore their vision or something!

      2. Martin
        Happy

        Re: Seriously? People think this is all going to be OK?

        By all means, document your own life. Go ahead and "lifelog".

        Me, I'd rather just live mine.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Crisp - Re: Seriously? People think this is all going to be OK?

        I'm the father of the child you're photographing without my permission.

        1. Graham Marsden
          Childcatcher

          @AC - Re: @Crisp - Seriously? People think this is all going to be OK?

          Right, because *no* cameras should be allowed anywhere in public for fear that they might capture the image of a child...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @AC 20:19

          What on earth are you doing with your daughter in public that you wouldn't want caught on camera?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seriously? People think this is all going to be OK?

      Please read this wiki entry

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photography_and_the_law

      It all depends on the country and the location, in the UK no such law is present. It doesn't matter if the filming is covert. I personally have used covert filming to prove to a council that a tenant was harrasing an old lady across the road. He did try to start a legal preceding against me and was most shocked when I turned up unannounced at his house with my handy cam to film his reaction when I told him the police wouldn't be pursuing his complaint.

    3. Fiddler on the roof
      Coat

      Re: Seriously? People think this is all going to be OK?

      I see lots of big boob footage being uploaded to youtube, I cant yet think how this is bad though :)

    4. Gav
      Megaphone

      This is not a Google Glasses problem

      Whether it is going to be ok or not, it's something society is going to have to come to terms with. Cameras have being getting smaller for decades. Digital storage is increasingly physically smaller and more expansive. The time will inevitably come (if it hasn't already) that people will be able to photograph/video everything that ever happens to them without giving any indication that they are doing it.

      We cannot wind back the clock on this. What are you going to do? You could make it illegal to film in a private place without consent (good luck enforcing that). But unless you want to make all cameras illegal, or make it a legal requirement that you wave a big flag and announce on megaphone every time you are about to take a photo, you are never, ever going to stop this happening in public places.

      I don't care for the idea of being covertly filmed by some weirdo any more than anyone else. But we all have to comes to terms with it. It's gonna happen, and it may not only be the weirdo's doing it. It may become commonplace.

      1. Steven Roper

        Re: This is not a Google Glasses problem

        It's not the cameras or people taking pictures of me in public places that I have a problem with. I accept that in any public place I may be photographed at any time and that goes with the territory. In fact I get very shitty with people who tell me I can't take pictures in a public place.

        What I have a problem with is the face-recognition software Google and Facebook use behind the cameras. I have no say in the matter. My dear mother has plastered photos of me all over Facebook, including ones taken in my childhood that she's scanned in and posted, and so against my will and without my consent, Facebook has a complete record of my face from childhood to present day and can potentially recognise me every time I pass a camera connected to it.

        With Google Glass, and Facebook/Google having that kind of information on people posted by third parties, every time I pass someone wearing these things, Google/Facebook's face recognition software kicks in and their system knows exactly where I am at that time. They can profile my movements and habits even without me posting anything of my own volition.

        No, I have no problem with cameras and using them certainly shouldn't be made illegal. But use of face-recognition software without the express written consent of the person whose face is being analysed definitely should be.

        1. Gav
          Boffin

          Re: This is not a Google Glasses problem

          Not quite totally against your consent. Your mother can't tag you without a Facebook account. Log into your account, go to all the photos your mother has tagged you in and remove them. Ask your mother to quit doing it.

          Now upload a couple of dozen photos of random people. Tag them all as you.

          There you go. Facebook now has no idea how you look.

  4. Spoddyhalfwit

    Use this in the pub and it can be only a matter of time until we see the first "google glassing".

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Life or Death?

    I can't figure it out. Does this make you safe from the weeping angels when wearing Google Glass? Or not?

    1. Thecowking

      Re: Life or Death?

      Not safe, decidedly unsafe.

      Remember, an image of an angel becomes an angel. For a given episode.

  6. ContentsMayVary
    Joke

    >> I've taken more pictures today than I have the past 5 days thanks to this.

    And also thanks to his nervous tic.

  7. JDX Gold badge

    Auto filming when scared/surprised/aroused?

    I wonder if it's able to detect your pupil size and start filming when this suddenly changes, i.e. when something interesting happens?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Auto filming when scared/surprised/aroused?

      Yes! That's exactly what I need... Autosnap a picture whenever an attractive woman walks by. I hope they have this implemented by the time Google Glass goes on sale publicly.

      1. Simon Harris Silver badge
        Happy

        Photographs, 'he asked him knowingly'.

        "Photography?"

        "Yes. Nudge nudge. Snap snap. Grin grin, wink wink, say no more?"

        ... the association of Winking and snapping... couldn't help thinking of ... Monty Python

  8. g e

    How does it know you're not blinking

    Cos it has no idea what the other eye is doing, does it.

  9. Rob
    Unhappy

    Not a big deal in the UK...

    ... seeing as we are being filmed by CCTV on an almost constant basis.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Not a big deal in the UK...

      Although I agree that is already a bad situation, at least the CCTV images are not splattered all over the interwebs (unless they record you doing something particularly unusual, stupid or funny).

      With Glass, those images and/or videos may well be posted "just" to that users archive, but if it's anything like Farcebook. his/her friends can see it and more likely friends of friends down however many degrees of separation is allowed. Not to mention the facial recognition that could well "tag" you in those images/videos.

  10. nuked
    Coat

    you can't beat a good wink

    1. Crisp Silver badge

      or even 40

  11. Jason Hindle Bronze badge

    Welcome to the parallel surveillance society

    If enough people wear these things to a demonstration, the police are going to be in for a shock.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Welcome to the parallel surveillance society

      Some police already wear shoulder cams - protesters aren't always without guilt.

      1. Ru

        Re: Welcome to the parallel surveillance society

        Some police already wear shoulder cams - protesters aren't always without guilt.

        At least now there will be no argument about quis custodiet, etc... it can and should work both ways.

      2. Jason Hindle Bronze badge

        Re: Welcome to the parallel surveillance society

        "Some police already wear shoulder cams - protesters aren't always without guilt."

        And, unfortunately, nor are the police. I've no issue with bad guys being sanctioned, but ultimately I'm a big fan of transparency and the rule of law. I merely note a potential enabler to both 8).

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hope no one wears these things into a rest room!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Big Memory Card Needed

    With my tourettes, I will be taking a lot of photographs. On the positive side, I will be able to see what I miss.

  14. Badvok
    WTF?

    Wink or Blink ?

    All the pictures so far appear to show the main body of Google Glass over only one eye, so how can it tell the difference between a wink and a blink?

    1. D@v3

      Re: Wink or Blink ?

      I would expect duration. a natural (non-deliberate) 'blink' is fractions of a second, where as using a 'wink' as a command could be over the course of a whole second, so that the camera that is monitoring the state of the eye is able to tell that it is completely closed, for more than 1 or 2 frames.

  15. Martin Maloney
    Go

    Isn't this a geek site?

    Then why hasn't anyone posted about this?

    http://www.hiddencameraglasses.com/?gs-glasses-camera%20sunglasses&gclid=CIXO_Pr9vrYCFeZxQgod5HIAHA

    They are cheap -- about $35-75, depending on the capacity of the microSD card.

    Yes, the temple pieces are large. However, mid-ear-length hair will cover them.

    The best part is that they are not tied to the evil empire known as google.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Isn't this a geek site?

      erm maybe because Google glasses are not just frames with a forward facing camera on them, they beam images into your eye to give you a HUD as well.

      I own a pair of camera glasses as I am a cyclist (in the summer) and they are quite good for filming shit car drivers and the like. However because of where the camera is mounted you still can't do discreet boob shooting as you would have to be staring at them. This usually results in trouble.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Isn't this a geek site?

        If you really wanted some discreet snaps then disassembling an 808 carfob camera and mounting it in something else (like the toe of some shoes/boots) should do the trick....

        1. Steven Roper
          Trollface

          Re: Isn't this a geek site?

          "...mounting it in something else (like the toe of some shoes/boots) should do the trick...."

          Except that the first thing women look at when passing or assessing you is your shoes. For some arcane reason known only to the feminine mind, shoes maketh the man - or the woman. This is exactly why so many would-be toe-cam upskirters get busted.

          Besides, if you want titty shots, your best bet would be a cam hidden in a baseball cap or other hat (Australian slouch hats are perfect for this! ;) ). Women rarely focus on the top of a man's head and the camera angle looking down from there is optimal for snapping cleavage!

  16. Hollerith 1

    What every woman will welcome

    How delighted women will be, knowing that blokes are winking their pics for personal use, for posting, for hilariously-captioning and posting. And not only women -- imagine how much those with disfigurements, those who just 'look funny', those caught with an odd expression on their faces, captured and posted for eternity. In the UK, we have the added joy of a removal of ownership from 'orphan' images (i.e. all of them), so all of the above can now look forward to being used somehow by companies to flog merchandise and services. Google: you are truly helping the world not to do evil.

  17. Dan 55 Silver badge
  18. Wizardofaus
    Big Brother

    I have a question for those who think people who have a problem with google glass are just plain unreasonable luddites:

    If you're wearing your glass and I stand a metre in in front of you, raise my SLR camera and take your photo, then post it to the flickr with the tag "glassholes" that'll be ok then?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: Question for luddites.

      Who is guilty when someone leaves the record button running in female changing rooms, or school sports changing rooms, because google glasses will become part of the furniture, and people will stop noticing them.

      With a f*ck off big camera it's obvious who the sicko is. These will become the equivalent of drilling holes in shower room walls and burying covert cameras.

      There's something fundamentally deviant about the mind of the head of Google if you ask me.

      1. Ru
        Paris Hilton

        Re: RE: Question for luddites.

        There's something fundamentally deviant about the mind of the head of Google if you ask me.

        Miniaturised cameras are not new. Perverts are not new. Google is not enabling them here... there have been numerous incidents of people hiding cameras inside shampoo bottles and then leaving them in shower areas at gyms and swimming pools, for example. "Won't somebody please think of the perverts?" is not a good arguement against these glasses, because if those folk want to do some covert video recording, they already can and probably already do.

      2. Wizardofaus
        Devil

        Re: RE: Question for luddites.

        I've thought of another wheeze!

        A hotbed of Glass wearers in London will be Soho. How much fun will it be to wander up to your friendly bobby on the beat and mention that the bloke over there was in the toilet wearing his camera?

        These things could be more fun than I first though...

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: RE: Question for luddites.

        it seems you are the one with the deviant thoughts?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They're going to be banned in my house.

    There's just too much scope for perverts with them.

    1. Jediben
      Devil

      Re: They're going to be banned in my house.

      They'll just have to stand on the flowerbeds and peer in through the windows like the rest of us then.

      I CAN SEE YOOOOOUUUU!

    2. TeeCee Gold badge
      WTF?

      Re: They're going to be banned in my house.

      If you're worried about the scope these would offer to the perverts in your house, Google glass is the least of your problems.

  20. Stevie Silver badge

    Hmm...

    Is there a law against shining a bright light at the face of a Glasstwat to prevent his or her (but I guarantee it will almost always be a him) filming me?

    Stupidest. Idea. Ever.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Hmm...

      You wouldn't need to shine a bright visible light, a bright IR light should do just fine as most CCDs are sensitive to ranges of IR light that are invisible to human eyes. Perhaps the anti-Glass defense will be people wearing glasses, necklaces, whatever that emit a very powerful IR light that causes their entire face to be a washed out blob to the glasshole. It'd raise hell with your TV remote, however :)

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Glassholes

    With any luck Google Glass will get a reputation as the favoured equipment of pervs and paedos (like a modern day equivalent of the good old flasher mac man in the park) and anyone daring to wear them in public will immediately be eyed with suspicion and shunned, if not actively attacked, tarred, feathered and have their forehead daubed with the word 'PEEDO' in indelible ink by the hard of thinking mobs who like to do the vigilante thang. And good on 'em.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Glassholes

      Because Google Glasses and their equivalents by other manufacturers will always be totally obvious, right? I'm totally certain that no-one will be able to miniaturise that technology any further and produce something that looks like a totally normal pair of glasses.

      Cos in your brave new word, anyone who is wearing glasses *might* be a "peedo" and therefore needs a good lynching. Compulsory LASIK for all!

      I guess we'll need tinted contact lenses to replace sunglasses though, right?

  22. Zot
    Meh

    Can someone explain how it knows a wink form a blink?

    People involuntarily blink all the time, and I thought this thing only looked at one eye.

  23. Dan Paul
    Devil

    Soon you will be required to wear "Googles" all the time as part of the Surveillance Society

    Mark my words, this will become part of a worldwide surveillance solution and we will be required to wear them all the time. Google will lobby for it under the guise of "National Security".

    If Orwell could have concieved of such a device back then, it would have been featured in "1984".

    "Googles" will become part of a "Minority Report" style Thought Police PreCrime system. They will all be linked into the web 24/7/365 and any alphabet soup agency will have backdoor access. In fact, they are all having technogasms just thinking about it now

    This concept will all be in a new William Gibson novel soon enough. Too late for Phillip K. Dick my second most favorite Cynically Paranoid writer. (Theodore Sturgeon is number one)

    I call dibs on a 10% royalties for the idea. The mere act of this post covers me legally.

    1. FireWorks
      Coat

      Re: Soon you will be required to wear "Googles" all the time as part of the Surveillance Society

      There was a book by David Brin where the elderly took to the public walkways with glasses like these that streamed everything they saw back to their home, as an advanced neighborhood watch patrol.

      Mines the one with the cheap sunglasses.

    2. Adrian Midgley 1

      Re: Soon you will be required to wear "Googles" all the time as part of the Surveillance Society

      Charles Stress in Halting State goes toward there. And further in 314? The sort of sequel to it.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is no law against taking photographs in a public place, publishing them without consent is another matter altogether.

    Some of the comments I've seen saying how the google glass will destroy all privacy etc borders on the hysterical and seems to completely ignore the fact that miniature cameras have been with us for a very long time now.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge
      Facepalm

      And so they have. Just ask all those ex girlfriends and the websites getting sued for posting them.

  25. angelbeast

    OOH my head hurts

    Just a thought, but is it really a good idea to have your mobile phone stuck to your head for most of the day. The skull is not very thick there either. Think perhaps Google are going to have to set aside a few bob for the inevitable - " trendy gadget caused my poor Johnnys brain tumour " I for one am gonna wait till Specsavers has em with varifocal lenses for £99.00.

  26. Trustme

    Luddites? Definitely!!

    Well I can leave my smartphone in my top pocket with the camera side facing out and film everything as I walk around (and which I used to record an encounter with a garage mechanic who was talking the p*ss) without anyone noticing or wondering about it, as can anyone else, and pinhole cameras you can wear without being noticed are (and have been for some time) easily available and cheap, so if you're bleating about them recording, you're way, way WAY too late to the party on that. You really have to be a luddite to protest about this simply because you don't realise that anyone who wants to already can film you without being noticed and a lot cheaper than buying Google Glass, if you weren't a Luddite you'd already know that...

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