Google Glass can take photo with a wink

May 03, 2013 by Salvador Rodriguez

If you see someone wearing Google Glass wink at you, you might want to get out of the way because they're probably not flirting with you.

A new app that's just been developed and released for the futuristic piece of technology lets users take a photo by simply winking an eye.

The code for the app, which is conveniently named Winky, was put online Thursday morning by developer Mike DiGiovanni, who works with digital consulting company Roundarch Isobar. He announced the app through a post on +, saying that there's a surprisingly big difference between winking to take a picture and taking a photo the way Glass is supposed to, which is by tapping on its or saying "OK Glass, take a picture."

"Winking lets you lifelog with little to no effort," DiGiovanni says online. "I've taken more pictures today than I have the past 5 days thanks to this. Sure, they are mostly silly, but my timeline has now truly become a timeline of where I've been."

DiGiovanni also uploaded a demonstrating Winky in action. He says Glass has technology that can tell the difference between an inadvertent blink and a purposeful wink.

But as convenient as Winky is, there are clear privacy concerns with the technology. Stop The Cyborgs, an online organization that wants to limit the use of Glass because of , said apps like Winky are why Glass can come off as creepy.

"If the technology is open then it can be hacked to create creepy apps like this where people have no warning they are being recorded," Stop The Cyborgs said in an email Thursday.

David Jacobs, the counsel for the Information Center, said Glass has the potential to enable pervasive and secret surveillance but there are steps developers can take to give others warnings that pictures are being taken.

"This can be reduced by providing notice to surrounding individuals that they are under surveillance by, for example, including a light that illuminates during recording or a shutter sound for pictures (or having either feature activated by voice command)," Jacobs said in an Thursday.

And DiGiovanni said his app does give users warnings. He said Winky will make a camera shutter-like sound when it takes a pictures, and others around the person wearing Glass can see the device's screen light up after a photo is taken.

But besides that, DiGiovanni said he doesn't think Glass is a very good device to be creepy with because in order to take a picture or shoot video you have to point at your subject with your face. Instead, he thinks spy cameras or smartphones would be less conspicuous.

"It seems easier to take a picture I shouldn't be taking if I was doing it on my phone than looking directly at them and taking it with Glass," he said Thursday.

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not rated yet May 04, 2013
Strange, every time I wink at a gorgeous young lady the image of her beauty remains in my heart forever. No need of electronics, only passion. And my heart is full!!!
not rated yet May 04, 2013
Such a winking's enough for accusing of people from privacy/anonymity violation. In our country it's impossible to take the photos at public areas from private property without permission given. You cannot photograph in dressing rooms, in public bathrooms, or motel rooms (and inside of private property in general). If the subject in the photo is identifiable and you want to sell the image commercially, you will need a signed model release. Most schools also require prior permission (and a darn good reason!) before you take pictures on property or of students. In the USA you also cannot take pictures of government buildings, military property, or nuclear power plants. The wearing/using of Google glass at such places is therefore unacceptable.