Google Polishes Glass with Upgrades for I/O Conference

Google has updated its Glass product for the I/O Conference, which opened Wednesday in San Francisco. The updates include more memory, updated apps that include live streaming, and a greater emphasis on stylish glass frames.

The newest Glass will feature 2 GB of RAM, double the previous amount, which the company said allows more apps to run concurrently. A capability that had previously been available as a beta is now officially released -- live broadcasting via the Livestream app.

When the app is running, "Glassheads" can broadcast the video stream they see to others -- free if the others are also Livestream account holders, or $400 yearly for streaming to non-Livestreamers. There are a variety of professional applications, such as live streaming medical procedures to students or transmitting a technical repair to a specialist.

15 Percent Battery Boost

The Livestream app in particular raises a variety of privacy and intellectual property issues, as neighbors may not want to be viewed by the entire planet in real time as they cut the grass in their worst-looking shorts, and movie makers or sports teams will not want to see their movies or games made available for free. For its part, Livestream's official policy prohibits unlawful, pornographic or illegal broadcasts, but, if the app becomes widely used, enforcement may be impossible.

There is also now a viewfinder feature that allows for framing a shot, and which can be enabled simply by voice command.

Two new Google Now cards have been released for Glass, which provide alerts about a package delivery and where your car is parked. Eight different styles are available for the $1,500 facepiece, and a bigger battery plus firmware updates promises 15 percent longer battery life than in previous incarnations.

While the battery upgrade was announced months ago, Google said the 15 percent increase wasn't...

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