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Google Glass code reveals always-on listening mode

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A number of experimental features in Google Glass have been uncovered by the Android hacking community, including one that puts the headset in a constant listening mode awaiting an owner's command. Another lets you quickly snap a photo with an eye wink. These and other experiments remain hidden from regular users, however. Not only must the Glass hardware be rooted for you to gain access. but you'll also need to modify settings files on the device — a risky proposition for $1,500 Explorer Edition buyers. But as Android Police reports, those willing to take the plunge will be rewarded with some useful functionality.

After enabling an "OK_GLASS_EVERYWHERE" option, the device will constantly listen for your command regardless of where you are in the operating system. Currently, "OK Glass" voice instructions are only accepted from the home screen. The experimental change makes interacting with the device far more convenient and we'd hope to see it rolled out to all users, assuming impact on Glass' battery life is minimal. Another setting lets Glass wearers take photos simply by winking their right eye — a feat one developer has already enabled in his own Glass app. It's certainly faster (and quieter) than blurting out "OK Glass, take a picture," but the shortcut stands to raise some privacy concerns. For the full list of ideas Google is toying with (and a video of some in action), head over to Android Police.