Google Glass GDK updated to reflect support for USB webcams


Google has updated the Google Glass GDK documentation to include support for external webcams attached via an On-The-Go cable (via Android Police). This means that, while developers already have access to the standard built-in Glass camera, they will now be able to incorporate additional camera views in their apps. Sadly, webcams won’t be Plug-and-Play, so developers are going to have to provide their own drivers for the hardware they want to use.

Notably, this functionality was actually demoed at Google I/O in June. As you will find in the video below, Hyunyoung Song, an engineer at Google, showed off a rigged together contraption for using Glass to display a rear-view camera while cycling. It looks kind of goofy (or, I guess, really goofy), but it’s only a proof of concept and being able to see what’s behind you while cycling seems like it would actually be a practical Glass use case.

Added support for USB webcam On-The-Go (OTG) on Glass. Known issues include:

  • Plug and play for the video node is not supported. Reboot Glass to detect attached webcam.
  • If the attached accessories have a microphone, contextual voice commands may not work.
  • Holding a partial wakelock is recommended to prevent the system from suspending access to attached webcam.

Check out the Google I/O 2014 Innovate with the Glass Platform session for more information.

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Avatar for Stephen Hall Stephen Hall

Stephen is Growth Director at 9to5. If you want to get in touch, follow me on Twitter. Or, email at stephen (at) 9to5mac (dot) com, or an encrypted email at hallstephenj (at) protonmail (dot) com.