Google has unveiled a new software update for its augmented reality headset Google Glass. The update comes as a surprise given that the tech giant shelved the project in 2015. The new update dubbed ‘XE23’ adds Bluetooth support that allows users to pair their headsets with Bluetooth input devices including keyboards, mice and controllers.
Google Glass Update
The update is way overdue given that it addresses long-standing complaints about the device’s connectivity deficiencies. Users can now have notifications displayed both on their Android Wear as well as on the headset, in addition to bug fixes and performance improvements.
Google has also issued a new update for the ‘MyGlass’ app that runs the augmented reality headset. The update makes the headset compatible with the latest version of the Android operating system. The update also comes with power management policies that allow users to manage how the app operates to manage battery power usage.
It is evidently clear that Google did not abandon Google Headset completely but was working on it in the background. The device was first sold online as part of the ‘Open Beta’ program that the company was using to test it as a concept. Closure of the Explorer program and Glass Website in 2015 fueled doubts about the headset’s future.
Speculation is already rife that Google is working on a new version of the headset. Such a move would not come as a surprise given the way virtual reality headsets have become popular. HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Play Station VR are already fighting for market share as the augmented reality space continues to grow in popularity.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is reportedly developing an AR headset that will feature motion sensors and DC motors that produce sound. Snap Inc. (NYSE:SNAP) is another tech giant believed to be working on its own AR hardware. Google has a long way to go if it serious about taking the other players head on. Its first attempt in the space did not generate the good will to justify further development.
Google stock was down by -0.20% in Wednesday’s trading session ending the day at $976.62 a share.