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Treading Carefully, Google Encourages Developers to Hack Glass

•, By Jessica Leber
 Google has set plenty of restrictions on the functionality of apps for Glass, the head-mounted display it is now shipping out to early adopters. At the company’s annual developer conference, I/O, which kicks off today, it will show app creators how to break those rules.

One conference session will be called “Voiding Your Warranty: Hacking Glass.” But it could be controversial to encourage experimentation with a product that at once has wowed people with its possibilities and spurred uneasy imaginings of a society subject to ubiquitous, user-generated surveillance. Google clearly wants developers to help explore the limits of what Glass can do, and yet Glass is not even on the market yet, and a handful of bars and cafés have already banned the hardware.

“Google really, really loves this project. But they are terrified,” says Chris Maddern, among a limited number of software developers who got to buy a $1,500 model through Google’s “Explorers” program. “There are so many things that can go wrong between now and when it’s in consumer hands.”

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