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A 24-Year-Old Is Creating an Operating System for Google Glass That Google Can’t Control

Attendees wear Google Glass while posing for a group photo during the Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco, CA, on May 17, 2013. Stephen Balaban of startup Lambda Labs wants to develop a new operating system for Glass.

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This post previously appeared on Business Insider.

By Julie Bort

Hackers have already started to make Google Glass do a whole bunch of things that Google has forbidden the device to do. And thanks to a 24-year-old named Stephen Balaban, they may soon be able control the device even more.

Balaban has built “an alternative operating system that runs on Glass but is not controlled by Google,” he told NPR’s Steve Henn.

Google is trying to walk a fine line between encouraging developers to write awesome apps for Glass and keeping people from getting too freaked out about the potential spying/creepiness/unwholesome factor. For instance, Google has banned porn apps. And, a couple of months ago, it banned facial recognition software


The ban came after Balaban, one of the developers behind commercial facial recognition startup Lambda Labs, built a facial recognition app for Glass. After the ban, he promised he wasn’t giving up. As people tweeted disappointment, Lambda Labs replied on Twitter, “Don’t worry, we think it’s a core feature. Google will allow it or replace it with something that does.”

We reached out to Balaban for comment and will share more details on this project when we get them.

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