Google Glass 2: Google tries again with slimmer, updated design

Possible plans for second version emerge, as interest wanes and rivals including Intel lay out plans

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The Independent Tech

Google Glass, the search giant’s wearable computer glasses, has arrived to a mixed reception at best. But Google is having another go at the glasses — which could come with a slimmer design and a better look.

Google released the first version of the glass — a beta, which users must sign up to access — in March last year. It opened it up to more users in May 2014.

But the full roll-out, which some had expected to happen by now, has been slowed. Many companies have pulled their apps from the platform and the glasses have come in for criticism.

But Google could be looking to revive the glasses, with new plans glimpsed in patents that were approved yesterday.

The glasses have the same wraparound frame, but the big battery that sits around the users’ ears is gone, making it much more compact. The screen is above the left eye and attached to a much smaller unit, the part of the glasses that contain the computer.

glass-prototype.jpg

 

The look of the previous Google Glass had been one of the big criticisms, with the large metal parts catching attention and leading some to warn against being a ‘Glasshole’ — people who wear the glasses too ostentatiously or using them for creepy purposes.

Even the company has warned against wearing Google Glass and expecting not to be noticed. “Let’s face it, you’re gonna get some questions,” it warns in its dos and don’ts for ‘Glass explorers’ — the people who have received the early versions of the glasses.

The design in the image isn’t named or confirmed to be Google Glass 2, but could offer some indication of how the company is planning to develop the glasses.

Interesting in the glasses have been waning in recent months. After a recent event where Google co-founder Sergey Brin left his pair in his car, Reuters asked 16 Glass app makers whether they were still working on their apps and nine said they had stopped working on products or pulled them.

Plenty remain in the store, and there are nearly 100 different apps available, but even Twitter has pulled its app from the store.

Intel said yesterday that it had tied up with Italian glasses company Luxottica — which had been Google’s partner on Google glass — to develop smart glasses. The first product is set to launch from the two companies in 2015, Intel said.

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