Winky Google Glass App Takes Pictures When You Blink


Google’s highly anticipated Glass eyewear has been in the hands of some lucky developers for only a little while, but we’re already … err seeing … some clever uses for the device starting to hit the Web. The newest Glass app to make its debut is Winky, a piece of software that captures photos using Glass’ camera whenever a wearer winks.

Developer Mike DiGiovanni said he created the app to make snapping photos using Glass feel more natural and to prevent wearers from being taken out of the moment by having to issue the, “Okay Glass, Take a Picture,” command. To help ensure Glass wearers aren’t firing off photos every time they blink, Winky requires that you make an effort in your wink. 

MORE: Top 10 Features of Google Glass

“Winking lets you lifelog with little to no effort,” DiGiovanni wrote in a post on his Google+ page. “I’ve taken more pictures today than I have the past 5 days thanks to this. Sure, they are mostly silly, but my timeline has now truly become a timeline of where I’ve been.” DiGiovanni also offers a brief video demonstration of the app at work.

We previously reported on Glass’ potential to recognize eye-gesture controls such as winking. The feature was uncovered by a keen-eyed Redditor who found command lines within Glass like “WINK_ENABLED,” “WINK_CALIBRATION_SUCCESS, and EYE_GESTURES_WINK_TAKE_PHOTO.” DiGiovanni, however, said that Google disabled the wink feature in user build versions of Glass, requiring him to find a workaround that would allow him to activate the function.

While making it easier to capture photos might be a win for Glass users, Winky will certainly raise some eyebrows among the ranks of privacy and security-minded folks. After all, Winky essentially lets users take photos of anything they want without having to do anything but briefly close an eye. Glass does automatically provide users with a preview of the image they just captured. So even if someone is trying to surreptitiously take a photo of you, you’ll be able to see the light from their ill-gotten image in Glass’  lens.

Daniel P. Howley
Daniel P. Howley
A newspaper man at heart, Dan Howley wrote for Greater Media Newspapers before joining He also served as a news editor with ALM Media’s Law Technology News, and he holds a B.A. in English from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.
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