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Prying Eyes: Dissecting Google Glass

16 Jul 2013  | Scott Torborg, Star Simpson

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The Glass display is very small. It is adhered to the inside of the internal frame with light glue around the edge of the display board. We scraped off the glue with a dental pick and removed the board.

For scale, it is shown pictured on top of a US dime. With a native resolution of 640x360, the pixels are roughly 1/8th the physical width of those on the iPhone 5's retina display.

Google Glass display


Glass uses a folded light pathway consisting of only a small handful of optical elements. Collectively they make the display's image appear to float a few feet from your face, in the top right corner of your vision. Steve Mann expands upon these optical strategies in much more detail and describes some additional challenges.

Google Glass optics

In the right photo, you can see this optical pathway at work when the display is removed.


The Glass camera seems to be of typical smartphone-level size and format. It is not coaxially aligned with the wearer's eye. The camera and display appear to talk to the CPU independently, with no direct connection between each other.

Google Glass camera

Google Glass teardown

Editor's note: This teardown was originally posted here and was sponsored by SparkFun. EDNA thanks them for their teardown contribution. If you have a teardown to contribute, contact us.

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