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Google Glass teardown: “It’s surprisingly simple”


What’s the first thing you do when you’ve just picked up your $1500 Google Glass headset? If you’re Scott Torborg and Star Simpsons, it’s apparently to reach for the spudges and screwdrivers …

We eagerly brought Glass back to the lab to begin the dissection. Speculation reigned: what if the entire body of Glass is potted with epoxy requiring strong solvents to access? Which part is the battery in? How hackable is this thing? Where are the sensors? Any extra hardware features yet to be unlocked by future software updates? But first, where to even begin opening it?

With no idea of what lay ahead, we started by removing the titanium frame from the pod that holds all the good stuff … 

They described the device as “surprisingly simple,” though this is a relative term … They did report that, after re-assembly, it still worked “albeit with cosmetic damage.” If you’re lucky enough to have your own Glass, we suggest you leave yours alone and look at their pictures instead.

Removing the casing from around the display reveals the proximity sensor and ambient light sensor.


When you tap the side of the glass, you’re activating the Synaptic touchpad shown on the bottom of the photo here:


The main board, containing a TI OMAP4430, 16GB of SanDisk flash, and an Elpida mobile DRAM chip (with lots of pink thermal paste visible behind).


The Glass display board, shown on a dime for scale. The 640×360 display has pixels “roughly 1/8th the physical width of those on the iPhone 5’s retina display.”


The full teardown has many more photos, and is well worth a visit if you’re curious about what’s inside.

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