Just in time for its I/O conference kicking off this week, Google has announced some updates to Google Glass.
The first software tweak, Viewfinder, superimposes a frame on the Google Glass lens whenever the wearer says, “OK, Glass, show the viewfinder.” In theory, that will make it easier to shoot a perfectly framed photo.
Google Glass will also ship with two new Google Now cards: one that reminds the wearer where they parked their car, and another that tracks any packages en route.
On the hardware front, new Google Glass devices will come with 2GB RAM, an addition that mightily irritated a subset of Glass users who heard about it online. “Suddenly, my 682MB of available RAM is sounding awfully miniscule [sic],” wrote one early adopter in the comments beneath Google’s G+ posting on the upgrades.
“If all the upgrades is due to the input of current Explorers, then why aren’t the current Explorers getting the upgrade? I feel I got gypped being an early Explorer,” wrote another.
“Explorers should be upgraded to the 2gb model no charge. Don’t leave us out in the cold Google,” opined a third.
And so on. Those negative feelings might stem in part from the sizable price tag for Google Glass, which retails for $1,500. After spending that sort of cash for a pair of eyeglasses with a tiny screen built over the right lens, it’s understandable that at least some of the early adopters would want to receive any and all upgrades that Google might choose to bestow.
Despite incremental improvements—and a huge marketing campaign by Google—it’s also questionable whether Google Glass will expand beyond a small subset of dedicated users. Some bars and restaurants around the country have already banned the device, concerned that its camera will be used to record patrons without their permission, while legislators in some states want to restrict its use while driving. Perhaps Google will use this year’s I/O to unveil something designed to spark Glass’s broader adoption.
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