Google Glass comes to Kitware

March 9, 2014

The Devices

After having signed up in the Glass Explorer program several months ago,
we recently got several Google Glass devices at Kitware.

We will be now exploring applications involving

  • 3D Visualization
  • Medical Imaging
  • Computer Vision
  • Medical Records


First, the Unboxing

Account Set Up

One of the Glass devices has been attached to the account

and its associated

G+ Kitware Medical Glass – Account 

and tested it by capturing and sharing simple videos.



In order to start developing applications for the Glass,
we installed in an Ubuntu Linux 12.10 the software development kit



Glass Development Kit

that in turns requires the

Android SDK

This is how the configuration looks like, when using Eclipse as an IDE.

Beginners Set up

We followed the set up for beginners:

and verified it by writing a first simple app for the Nexus 7 tablet

This required to select a specific version of the SDK, that in this case turned out to be

Minimum version SDK - API 15

and to put the tablet in developer mode, using the Geek-loving cryptic method:

"On Android 4.2 and newer,
Developer options is hidden by default.
To make it available, go to Settings > About phone
and tap Build number seven times."

This is how the devices are presented when the Glass is paired via Bluetooth with the
Nexus 7 tablet, and the tablet itself if connected to the laptop via the USB cable.

The Glass itself must also be set up in Debug mode, in order to upload apps to it.

We did that by getting into the Settings Menu in the Glass.


Glass Samples

We then tested the basic examples for the Glass

  • Stopwatch
  • Timer

and verified that we could upload them from the Laptop, using Eclipse,
into the Glass device, via a direct USB connection.

Design for Glass

The following are the design guidelines for Glass applications:

This includes


Modifying an Example

To bootstrap an example, we visited the Google Glass organization in Github.

and cloned the Compass example:

then imported into Eclipse, using the options

File -> New -> Project -> Android Project from Existing Code

and then browsing to the directory where we cloned the Git repository.

Verified that the application could be run in the Glass.

Time to Edit

We then forked the Compass sample repository in Github

Import it as a project in the Eclipse environment

The set up:

  • Screen casting from the Glass into a Nexus 7 tablet
  • Uploading code into the Glass from the Ubuntu Linux Laptop via USB cable 

The application running after disconnecting the USB cable, still screencasting into the tablet.

Code Changes

We then made minimal changes to modify the color of lines in the display,
and then remove the directions characters and replace them with a horizontal line.

Here is the screenshot of the resulting application, taken from the Glass.


Turning Off

Knowing how to force the Glass to turn off, is helpful as we debug code     🙂


Heat Disipassion

The process of uploading code, tends to heat up the Glass quite a bit.
At intervals we had to take breaks to let the Glass cool down.

What to do Next

The task that we will be trying next, is to get inspiration from the 

MiniGame Examples

to build an initial application that use the min3D library to render simple graphics. 


We will be sharing the progress in this exploration soon.


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