Despite the many fears of cyber-stalking to arise from the soft launch of its digital seeing eye, Google has made it pretty difficult to take photos and videos of unwitting people with Google Glass — except for one guy who's already built a workaround privacy nightmare. Rather than walking early adopters into a battery-draining video trap or forcing them to speak extra clearly to take photos with their voices, mobile developer Mike DiGiovanni has an app that takes creep shot with that creepiest of all gestures: the wink. Yes, without any talking, or overt moving, or — heaven forbid — battery power, Winky will let Google Glass wearing geeks snap photos of unsuspecting people in an instant.
Yes, the potential creep factor is high with the app developed by DiGiovanni, who is the "emerging technology lead" at the "world-class" marketer Roundarch Isobar. Google Glass was built to require voice commands or hand gestures to take photos — and an innocent person walking down the street could be alerted to creep shots by a wave or a voice. It wasn't quite someone stopping to snap an iPhone photo, but it was a heads-up. And a creeper could always walk around recording video with Google Glass, but the video would top out at 30 minutes — and suck up battery super fast. Winky, however, is a cyber-stalking breakthrough: You can't stop photos in the blink of an eye.
In its nascent form, at least, Winky's set-up may not be creepy enough — would-be photo victims have still noticed glassholes doing their blinky worst, so DiGiovanni has been forced to "calibrate his wink." You can also see, in the GIF above at right, that Google Glass has a flash light in its camera. But with a little tweaking, Winky could become the creep-shot nightmare, the likes of which have only been imagined in parodies of "how guys will use Google Glass." Yes, this "funny" lean in of joke video — "OK, Glass take a picture" — is about to become reality:
Of course, it doesn't sound like DiGiovanni built Winky explicitly for stalking. He created it because telling Glass to take a picture took him out of the moment. "Winking lets you lifelog with little to no effort," DiGiovanni says. Of course, what you choose to "life log" is up to you. Here's hoping it's not pictures of random women walking down the street or — perhaps worse — the paparazzi.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.