Google Invites Developers To Hack Project Glass

Google encourages limited number of developers to work on apps to be used with Google's Internet-enabled glasses.
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Google has offered a limited number of developers in its Google Glass Explorer program the opportunity to attend a two-day hackathon in either New York or San Francisco to learn how to create software and services for its forthcoming Internet-enabled glasses.

The company is referring to these events as the Glass Foundry. The San Francisco event is scheduled to take place on Jan. 28 and Jan. 29. The New York event is scheduled for Feb. 1 and Feb. 2. The Glass Explorer program was introduced at the Google I/O developer conference last year.

Google has not indicated how many Glass Explorer developers will be admitted, but the company is saying that those who want to attend should register by 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, because space is limited.

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A Google+ post echoing the invitation that Google sent to developers via email on Tuesday reveals some frustration because the registration form failed to load for many people. "[W]e're really sorry for the trouble and we're continuing to work on fixing it," said Project Glass community advocate Sarah Price in a comment appended to the post.

Undeterred, some developers have apparently managed to bypass the broken submission form code by using the Chrome browser console command line.

A video in the Google+ post fills in some more details about how developers will be able to write Glass software. "Development with glass is done with something called the Mirror API, which is basically a collection of RESTful Web services," explained Jenny Murphy, a Glass developer programs engineer.

Representational state transfer, or REST, provides a standardized way for clients and servers to exchange data. Because REST isn't tied to a specific platform or technology, developers should be able to create Glass-compatible services using their favorite programming language, whether that's PHP, Python, Ruby, Java or something else.

Although reliance on a RESTful API will ensure that developers can create a wide variety of applications that communicate with Google hardware, it also suggests that Google isn't planning to provide developers with direct access to Glass hardware.

It's unclear whether Glass Foundry attendees will have the opportunity to purchase the $1,500 Glass devices they signed up for at Google I/O last year and to take them home, or whether the events provide only hands-on time. Google did not immediately respond to a request for clarification. The company said previously that it intends to deliver Project Glass hardware for developers in "early 2013."

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