Talking tech since 2003

Google’s I/O conference kicks off today, and we expect to hear all kinds of stuff about Android, Android Wear, Android TV…anything with the word “Android,” basically. But despite how long the Explorer program has been going on, it seems as though the official consumer release for Google Glass is still a ways off. Yesterday, the company announced a few new tweaks to Glass that new Explorers will enjoy, for however long the Explorer program will continue.

According to Google, Glass will get twice as much RAM going forward, with a jump from 1 GB to 2 GB. That, of course, should make Glass run pretty quickly. Interestingly, Google also says that Glass’s battery life has been improved “by over 20%.” It seems as though the Explorers have provided plenty of data to Google about how to make the device even more efficient and powerful.

There are a few software upgrades as well, like a viewfinder for photos and more Google Now cards. Google Now is one of the more interesting bits of software to hit my Android phone, so I can only imagine how convenient it’d be to use the app while wearing Google Glass.

Of course, there are still questions as to whether or not Google Glass will be the hit the company wants it to be. There are more than few privacy concerns surrounding people wearing Glass, since they’ve basically strapped cameras to their faces. And Glass doesn’t win any points for fashion, either. Even if the consumer version of Glass is launched with a $750 price – half of what it costs to participate in the Explorer program – that’s still a ton of money to voluntarily look like an ass.

Glass is an interesting example of technological innovation outpacing the public’s interest. So far, Google has done a great job of providing products and services that enhance people’s lives, giving us things we never knew we wanted, but now we can’t live without. Devices like Glass, however, may be too much, too far. No matter how useful Glass might be, most people don’t like looking that stupid on purpose. If Glass can be shrunk down to the point where it’s imperceptible, it might gain a bit more public acceptance. But between looking silly and breaching people’s privacy, Glass has an uphill battle.

Maybe Sundar Pichai will tell us something interesting about Glass that can assuage those concerns. We’ll see what he has to say at I/O today.

[Google Glass on G+]

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