ChromeOS developer and hacker Liam McLoughlin told Twitter yesterday that not only has he figured out how to gain root access on Google Glass, the task is apparently pretty simple.
looks like root is easy too: reboot-bootloader gives you fastboot oem unlock. There is fun to be had here...— Liam McLoughlin (@Hexxeh) April 26, 2013
Glass runs a version of Google's Android operating system, so the similarities will make the headware easy to work with for the large existing community of independent Android developers and modders. Root access provides users with a way to circumvent many of the Android operating system's built-in safeties and restrictions -- adding the ability to do more with the software at the cost of creating new security pitfalls for the unwary.
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Glass is currently only available to a limited number of developers and testers for $1,500, though a cheaper consumer version is said to be arriving before the end of the year. A report from LivingThruGlass.com details Glass evangelist and Rackspace employee Robert Scoble's response to a developer who asserted that the device's API access is currently quite limited.
Among the reasons for this limited initial feature set, he said, is the idea that Google is eager to avoid any further public outcry over potential privacy issues related to Glass. Many in the media have argued that Glass poses a serious threat to privacy, and some establishments -- including casinos, strip clubs and one Seattle bar and grill -- have pre-emptively banned the devices.
Glass being easy to root, however, partially removes those limitations -- lowering the barriers for both well-intentioned and ill-intentioned developers.
That said, McLoughlin apparently isn't eager to push the envelope right away, saying in a subsequent tweet that he'd wait until he had a second unit before going further with his tinkering. "Don't want to kill this one," he wrote.