Google Glass York University CS Student Blogs

Google Glass Takes Awesome Quality Videos – is this the end of the GoPro?

I had the opportunity to ride the SkyWire (the largest and fastest Zip Wire in England) at the Eden Project last week, and took Google Glass with me to record my flight.  When I got back, I was so impressed with the footage recorded I created this short movie showing my trip (includes brief footage from an iPhone).

What subsequently struck me was, if the video quality is this good, is there that much space left for the GoPro for the hobbyist?  The video quality and battery life are only fractionally better, and those benefits cost you a device that’s much more bulky and that actually requires a hand to operate!

Computer Science Google Glass York University CS Student Blogs

Venturefest 2014 – Demoing Google Glass

I was lucky enough to be asked to come and demonstrate Google Glass at Venturefest Yorkshire 2014 last week month (time ran away!) (representing myself, a Glass developer).  Venturefest is a free one-day event showcasing the latest technologies and businesses, and it’s very popular with entrepreneurs.

Venturefest ID
Venturefest ID

As Glass hasn’t become publicly available yet, this was an exciting opportunity to demonstrate Glass to some of the UK’s most innovative and creative minds, many of whom haven’t yet had the chance to experiment with any wearable technology in the past.  My goal was to demonstrate it’s potential and to spark an interest or idea that may lead them to start developing for wearable devices – development which just isn’t mainstream in the UK yet.

So, bright and early on the 14th of March, I headed out to the York Racecourse where the event was been held and setup my demo – simply Glass, a power cable to re-charge it at every possible opportunity and a laptop showing videos of Glass been used from the Glass YouTube channel.  From 9AM through 1PM, I was constantly busy – it was definitely a very popular device.  So, what was the feedback?

The first thing I noticed was that nobody seemed to know how to use it!  This is different to the US where someone asks you to try it and with the smallest of hints they’re away and navigating through features.  Perhaps this is down to the additional media coverage it’s had in the US compared to the UK, but I was still surprised at how few people had investigated it in the year it’s been about, bearing in mind it seems to be the future.

The general feedback was that people were extremely impressed with Glass – specifically, a number of people commented on how unobtrusive it was when it was switched off (you can see right through it) and on how incredible Google Now on Glass was – two distinctive questions that it correctly answered were “What’s the capacity of the Riverside Stadium?” and “What is the nickname of the Bank of England?”.

One specific piece of feedback I did keep getting was that “It would be really useful as an Augmented Reality device for my …”, which is an area that, up until now, I haven’t thought hugely about.  It does seem obvious though, as it’s a much more natural device for augmenting your vision than, for example, your phone, which you must constantly hold up in-front of your face.

All in all, I think it went well and that people enjoyed the experience.  Fingers crossed that I managed to persuade a few more people that wearable technology and Google Glass really are a viable future.

Computer Science Google Glass

The Last Resort – Finding the MAC Address of Google Glass [UPDATED]

UPDATE: The Glass Team have recently made this a whole lot easier (I guess in response to a lot of requests).  Your MAC address is now available on the MyGlass page.  Just visit, and click on “Device info”.  It’s listed below:

Finding the MAC Address of Google Glass
Finding the MAC Address of Google Glass

Original post:

So, today I needed to find the MAC address of my Google Glass so I could get an exception made on a Firewall for screen casting at an upcoming conference (Venturefest York). This was more difficult than expected (partly because of Glass, partly because of my situation), so I thought I’d explain the method that’ll reliably work for people in a similar situation.

Jump to the solution, or read what I tried first:

On most pieces of technology with networking functions, the MAC address is printed on the side of the packaging.  Saying that, I can’t think of a piece of technology where this hasn’t been the case for me.  Unfortunately, in this age of ‘Unboxing is Theatre’ and minimalistic packaging, Google omitted this on the Explorer Edition.

So, the first normal step then would be to go to the Settings app (if on a desktop or mobile device) or the control panel (if it’s a networking device) and find it there, but since Glass has such a (beautiful) minimalistic design, information not vital to the day-to-day operation of Glass is hidden.

Next, you’d normally look in your router’s control panel and find a connected device with a name matching the name of your Glass.  Unfortunately, I’m on a large organisation network without access to this kind of control panel.  I experimented with creating a personal hotspot from my phone for Glass and a Laptop, but then when I queried Glass for it’s MAC address with the arp utility it returned nonsense.

So, the solution.  You’ll need to open a shell on the device and execute the Android Network Configuration application.  To do this:

  1. You’ll need the ‘adb’ utility – download the Android SDK if you don’t have it.
  2. Enable dev/debug Mode on your Glass (Settings -> Device Info -> Turn on debug).
  3. Plug Glass into the computer you’ve got adb installed on.
  4. Run the following in your terminal:
adb shell

and the output will include the MAC address of your Glass:

[email protected]:/ $ netcfg
lo       UP        0x00000049 00:00:00:00:00:00
ifb0     DOWN      0x00000082 ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff
ifb1     DOWN      0x00000082 ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff
sit0     DOWN      0x00000080 00:00:00:00:00:00
ip6tnl0  DOWN      0x00000080 ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff
wlan0    UP       0x00001043 ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff

(where ff represents obscured values)

So there we are!  Easy once you’ve found how to do it.