Winky for Google Glass lets you take photos with the wink of an eye

google glass winky

Many developers, including our very own Steve Albright, have finally gotten their hands on Google Glass units, and some of the more interesting applications are starting to roll out. One app that’s sure to get folks excited is Winky, a utility that allows you to take photos with Google Glass by performing the super simple action of winking an eye.

Typically, users would have to say “OK glass, take a picture” in order to snap a photo from the first-person point-of-view, but as Mike DiGiovanni points out this kind of pulls you out of the moment. Without having to say anything or wait for a two-step command, Winky allows you to capture snapshots of your most precious moments as if you’re simply committing them to memory.

The developer didn’t go into much detail about how it was done, but he did release the source code to show everyone how it was done, and to ensure everyone that the app doesn’t handle private data in such a way that is harmful to the user. He doesn’t want inexperienced Glass users to be able to install the app all willy-nilly, saying that he wants to make sure that only people who can understand the code behind it can install it.

With that, there’s no APK for you to simply download and install — you’ll have to build it from source if you really want it. It’s an interesting project that shows off some Glass functionality that we didn’t know developers could tap into so easily. DiGiovanni says he hasn’t jumped into low-level stuff yet to figure out how, exactly, the unit can detect the wink, but suspects a tiny, low-resolution camera is embedded in the device’s bar.

google glass winky user interface

The app’s user interface itself is quite simple if you need it: you’ll get the ability to calibrate the sensitivity, and the ability to clear that calibration. Two buttons, and that’s it. The quick video at this link shows Mike putting the app in action, but if you have Google Glass and want to experience it for yourself be sure to find the code at Github and compile the source with whatever tools you prefer.

[via Google+]

Continue reading:




  • Kam Siu

    probably a small camera embedded in the head piece. so i guess google left the code out for some reason…privacy issues, not ready for prime-time, hardware accuracy?

    feels like we’re back in the good old “android donut 1.6″ days.

    • Gus70

      Google Glass has a built in functionality to be able to focus the display on your eye’s fovea (focal point – at the back of your eye). Basically Google Glass can see inside your eye to make display corrections to make sure the display is in focus. This is a necessary function for Glass to work because of the close proximity of the display to the eye, as a lot of people can not normally focus on something so close to their eye. It is also used to keep the display in focus even when your eye is focusing on a distance view or a close view and it doesn’t matter if you are using corrective lens (contacts or prescription lens). So it isn’t like Google left a built in camera unused. The developer just took advantage of the device’s display focusing technology to detect wink. Now you know how it works.

  • Mark Wheeler

    That’s… Not good if I see ppl with these things winking at ppl they don’t know I’m gonna
    Make that thing a permanent fixture in his eye socket.

    • uniquename72

      Internet tough guys are really scary!

      • Mark Wheeler

        Poke fun all you want. Humanity isn’t ready for this technology and
        Never will be, people are gonna do bad things with it and I promise you
        Someone will get their glass kicked ( see what I did there?)

        • sdrawkcab25

          and how can you tell if someone is using their phone to text or to secretly take a picture/record video…there really isn’t much of a difference. take a look at cell phone pics or videos on the internet, there are always plenty of unsuspecting people in the photo/video. The privacy issue is really being overblown here.

  • Alfonse

    You’ve got to admire Google’s marketing strategy here…I’m sure they could have developed this themselves but by putting a few thousand units out to the development community they are likely to get better ideas and at the same time build intense interest in the device…

    If people initially didn’t think they would want one all this free promotion is likely to make them change their mind!

    • Mark Wheeler

      Or they don’t want to be held accountable for when people start to use this for evil

  • Maximillion82

    its a good idea and nice to see that people are innovating and developing on glass. however this app is a privacy concern. still koodos to the developer.

  • Shawn_Locke

    How does Glass distinguish the difference between a wink and a blink?

    • Ryan O’Neill

      I was wondering the same thing. I think I read somewhere that when you wink, your eyelids move differently than a normal blink.

    • Lactose_the_Intolerant

      Perhaps by speed…blinks are slower / more deliberate than winks.

  • ant-roid

    POV money shots have never been easier.

  • Guest

    duplicate – delete

  • http://bamaredwingsfan.blogspot.com/ JH

    Content on @CreepShot is about to explode exponentially lol

  • newGeo

    people will be stading around like stupid drone bots when they are reading something or upateing there status. its going to be funny watching someone staring into space for a long period of time. bahaha. “dont bother me bro im reading something!” meanwhile he looks like he has been staring at the wall for 1 hour. no thanks.

    • Mark Wheeler

      Dude imagine how they’ll look if they are watching porn

    • rustygh

      This is going to be the fun time. Walk up, speak a command, throw them way off topic.
      I’m already anticipating people walking right in to traffic. This should get good. Not to mention the laws popping up stopping use of glass here and there. ツ

      • newGeo

        lol

    • sdrawkcab25

      I think people look just as stupid when staring down at their phones. it’s almost amusing to sit in a waiting room and watch everyone hunched over their phones. it looks like a bunch of t-rex’s using a phone.