Google Glass gains more listening skills thanks to new software update

Google Glass(s goog) owners will be able to get more use from their smart specs just by speaking to them after this month’s software update is installed. Google announced the new features on Monday with the software rolling out to devices over the next few days. Each month, Google improves Google Glass software, with last month’s focus being on camera improvements.
According to the official Project Glass account on Google Plus, voice activity takes center stage this month:

“Now with Glass you can get things done without having to lift a finger. Let’s say your friend texts you. You can now say “ok glass, read aloud” to hear it and answer with “ok glass, reply.” Mom calling? Just say “ok glass, answer call.” Boyfriend away on business? Send that selfie straight away with “ok glass, share with Felix.”

Also included is better contact integration with the glasses. Choosing the “Send a message to…” option brings up a list of Google contacts to swipe through and choose from. Glass users can also use voice commands to search the web — Google Glasses uses a smartphone for the connection — and with the new software update, a simple tap on “View Website” will bring up the web page.
For easier navigation on web pages, Google Glass will now support the following swipe and tilt features:

  • Scroll – Slide your finger forward on the touchpad to scroll down.
  • Zoom – Slide two fingers forward or backward to zoom.
  • Look around – With two fingers down on the touchpad, move your head around to pan.
  • Click – As you look around, you can tap to select anything in the center of the screen.

Now that Google Glass is maturing on a monthly basis, I almost wish I had tried to get in early on the Glass project. It would have cost $1,500, of course, which is a bit much to spend on a product that’s not fully developed. But I like what I see with Glass as well as where the project is heading.
I expect that for much less of an investment, I’ll see some of the Google Glass features and user interface bits in an Android smartwatch later this year. Last week it was reported that Google is working on a wearable for the wrist and I see plenty of re-use from Google Glass in such a device. Between the small Google Now cards and Google Glass interaction methods, I think Google can make a killer smartwatch.
Google Now cards