NeatoCode Techniques
Mirroring Google Glass on your Desktop

Google’s new wearable heads up display is being shipped out to the first wave of people who signed up to be testers and is showing up more and more at meetups and hackathons. Here’s how to display the output of Google Glass on a desktop or laptop. It’s extremely handy when presenting and demoing!

Step 1: Install ADB on your desktop or laptop

ADB, Android Debug Bridge, is the standard tool from the Android SDK used to communicate with Android devices. It can connect to Android devices via USB cable or internet. To get ADB, install the Android SDK from Google’s Android Developer site.

Step 2: Turn on debug mode on your Google Glass

To connect ADB to Google Glass, you have to turn on debug mode on the device. Turn the Glass on with a one second press of the power button if it is off. Tap the touchpad on the side to get to the time and voice prompt screen:


Now swipe your finger on the touchpad toward the back of your head until you see the settings card:


Tap the touchpad to enter the settings menu. Swipe toward the front of your head until you see the device info card:


Tap again to enter this card’s menu - this is a little tough to find because the corner isn’t ear marked like most cards that offer menus. Next swipe forward until you see the “Turn on debug” option. Now tap again to enable it. The option changes into “Turn off debug” in case you need to turn it off again:


Step 3: Run a screen mirroring utility

Now you can run a screen mirroring utility like Droid@Screen or Android Screen Monitor (ASM). Connect your Google Glass to your desktop or laptop by the cable or through the internet. Then confirm it is visible in ADB as a device by running the “adb devices” command from the command line or terminal:

$  adb devices

List of devices attached 

015498FC0D01E012 device

If it doesn’t show up you may have to install Android Composite USB drivers from the Android SDK, or on Linux modify the USB permissions as per Google’s Using Hardware Devices page. On Mac it just works.

Once the device shows up. You can run the utility. Droid@Screen has a nicer user interface, but ASM gets better frame rate. Here is how your run ASM from the command line:

$  java -jar asm.jar 

And a screenshot of it working. The window is showing the menu of Google Glass voice commands:


This can be really handy when giving a presentation of Google Glass or presenting hacks that use it! The public API Google is providing, called the Google Mirror API, requires having a web site that users authorize. So you’ll often want to demo a browser window and the glass window at once. The MyGlass app on Android can also mirror the display on an Android device, although I’ve found that less useful.

If anyone has any questions about Google Glass development, feel free to ask!

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