Google (News - Alert) Glass won't be available for most of us to pick up for some time yet, but one thing is quite clear: the device is looking to take quite a bit of ground when it does arrive. This is evidenced by several new features that have been included as part of a set of updates to XE8, showing some exciting new potential directions for Google Glass to go.
Perhaps the biggest new update to Google Glass software is a new video player, which in turn allows users to better watch video on the device. Granted, there are limitations here—Liliputing's Brad Linder noted that users likely wouldn't want to use the viewer for a feature-length movie, and even if said users were sufficiently inclined, the battery life likely wouldn't last until the end of the flick anyway—but for short fare, the results might turn out nicely.
But the update isn't just about video. Further updates include the ability to save notes to Evernote (News - Alert), as well as adding updates to Path, the ability to adjust volume manually, the ability to modify navigation directions via voice command, and a set of new display cards for things like reservations for restaurants or pre-purchased movie tickets, complete with confirmations and reminders alike so users won't forget that 7:30 ticket to The Conjuring that was recently purchased. There is even now support for public alert system notices like issues of severe weather and similar emergencies.
What's more, users can add captions to photos and videos with voice commands, and there seem to be some stability fixes as well, allowing users to better issue strings of commands to the devices.
Basically, these are the kinds of things that probably should be expected of a new device that's trying to shake up the overall mobile device ecosystem. While maybe the video player isn't quite ready for prime time as yet, the idea of the head-mounted display for viewing video is not out of line. Models have been available for some time, and it would be nice to have a version available for streaming video and the like, especially if it can do 1080p video. Of course, the competition that might be posed from the Oculus Rift in that sense may make that a pool Google would rather not play in—though the gaming possibilities of Google Glass have been at least approached thanks to a Space Invaders-style game release--but for short videos it makes particular sense. Google holds what is likely the biggest stock of same online with YouTube (News - Alert); why not take advantage of it?
Still, the functional updates are likely to prove welcome, and as further refinements of Google Glass emerge, the final version that comes available for purchase—currently suggested as being around the end of 2013—should have a lot of exciting features on hand for those looking to get in on the action.
Edited by Rich Steeves
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