New Google Glass: Latest version is bendy and has a better battery
Published 29/12/2015 | 12:02
Pictures of a new version of Google Glass have emerged in filings with American authorities, revealing a bendy design more akin to typical glasses.
Google pulled sales of its £1,000 wearable headset almost a year ago and cancelled the "Explorer" programme for testing it, despite spending years on its development. The move was seen as a major U-turn at the time, although Google insisted that it had not cancelled the Glass project and that it would focus on business users.
Now, images of a new model have appeared on the Federal Communications Commission website. They show a new, foldable, design that will let owners store Glass in their pockets or cases like normal spectacles, as well as a manual for the device.
Some photos show Glass with the nose bridge that helped the earlier version stay on an owner's face, while others do not, although the latter may just be to show the design better.
Google was one of the first big companies in the wearable tech space, unveiling Glass in 2012. The headset was designed to take pictures, respond to voice controls and display other smartphone-style features on a small screen on the edge of the right eye.
It went on sale to some people in 2013 before a general release in 2014, and several popular services developed apps for the technology. However, many were quickly abandoned, and Glass drew controversy, especially over surreptitious filming. Google even had to explain to users how not to be a "glasshole".
In January, Google pulled sales of the original device, but said it would release a new version, focused on enterprise users, when it is ready. The new device is already being quietly used in some businesses, although a consumer version, if it emerges, is believed to be some way away.
At the same time, other wearable tech products, such as Apple's Watch, have emerged, while a series of other augmented reality products like Microsoft's Hololens are due to go on sale in 2016.
A basic manual reveals that controls for the new Google Glass are similar to those of the previous version. However, it uses an improved Intel processor that will mean better battery life, and reportedly also has a slightly larger screen.