New Version of Google Glass coming, Free Swap for Current Glass Explorersby Brian Klug on October 28, 2013 5:03 PM EST
One of the shortcomings of the initial Glass hardware was its inability to be used in conjunction with prescription eyewear. Although users could sometimes get away with wearing Glass on top of or in addition to glasses, users with certain prescriptions ultimately couldn't see the HUD either way. In a post to Google+, Google today announced a new version of Glass coming with support for a new line of sunglasses, compatibility with prescription eyewear, and the addition of a mono earbud, hopefully in place of the bone conducting speaker on the current Glass model.
The current Explorer Edition (XE) model of Glass is based on a 45nm OMAP4430 clocked at up to 1 GHz, and 1 GB of RAM. Although there's nothing in the announcement about the underlying hardware regarding SoC or camera changes, I'd hope this new version of Glass uses a newer SoC built on a newer process to improve battery life and performance. Although the current version of Glass can make it through a full day, recording videos or using Hangouts on Glass can quickly heat the unit up and drain the battery. I've enjoyed wearing Glass but improving the performance in a few places would make the experience much better. In addition getting rid of the bone conducting speaker and going with a more pragmatic earbud would make hearing Glass much easier.
Google made it clear with Glass XE that the hardware wasn't final, even in the kernel software there's explicit mention of Glass being an EVT (Engineering Verification Test). For current explorers, Google is offering a one-time swap out to the newer hardware beginning in November. The explorer program is also expanding in scope – current explorers will be able to invite an additional three friends to join the program.