How do you know if someone's recording with Google Glass?

Google has published some new FAQs to try and appease privacy worriers' concerns about Google Glass.

The Google-flavoured Q&A explains how you'll know if someone's recording with Glass and points out that the specs do not, and will not, include facial recognition.

To check if that super nerd is recording you as you go about your daily business, look them in the eye and check if the lens is lit up.

Explicit signals

"We have built explicit signals in Glass to make others aware of what's happening," Google explains.

"First, the device's screen is illuminated whenever it's in use, and that applies to taking a picture or recording a video.

"Second, Glass requires the user to either speak a command - "Ok Glass, take a picture" or "Ok Glass, record a video" - or to take an explicit action by pressing the button on the top of Glass's frame. In each case, the illuminated screen, voice command or gesture all make it clear to those around the device what the user is doing."

While that's all well and good, we can't imagine it'll be abundantly obvious to those in, say, a crowd on, for example, a bright, sunny day. So keep your wits about you.

Another element clarified is that the Google crew say there are no plans to ever add facial recognition to Glass, and devs aren't allowed to add it, or voice print, to their Glassware apps either.

So that's good news for the privacy-lovers, bad news for those who struggle to remember people's names or hoped to channel the Terminator.

The user-friendly document has come a day after Google announced it would not be making any privacy-based changes ahead of the Glass launch.

Some of the Q-s A-ed address burning questions like, "What's the point of Google Glass?" and "No, really, what's the point?"

Google reckons that the point is to "put you back in control of your technology by giving you a simple, elegantly designed hands-free device that's on only when you need it" instead of keeping your head buried in a smartphone or tablet, like, say, the Google Nexus 4 or the Google Nexus 7.

The FAQ also clears up the reason why Google doesn't release more Glass specs - er, that's specifications - which is apparently because "this technology is more about the person and how he or she uses it, than the hardware and software".

Bunch of hippies.

  • Get involved with our hands on Google Glass review to find out what we make of the headset so far
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Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.