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Google Glass gets update, makes comeback

Press Association logoPress Association 22/06/2017 Martyn Landi

Google Glass has made a surprise comeback after the augmented reality headset's companion app was given its first update in almost three years.

The smart glasses, which revolve around a small screen that sits in the corner of a wearer's field of vision, enables them to read messages, take photos and make video calls.

But the GBP1,000 ($AU1,700) device was withdrawn from sale by Google in 2015 after failing to capture consumer attention.

Now the MyGlass companion app that helped pair a user's smartphone with the headset has been given its first update since late 2014, adding Bluetooth connectivity support.

Google Glass's support site says the update enables the latest version of the headset to be paired with "Bluetooth input devices, including keyboards".

The headset was sold online as part of what Google called an "open beta" known as the Explorer Program that the tech giant said was part of testing for the device as a concept.

When the Explorer Program and Glass website were closed in 2015, Google said Glass had "graduated" from the company's X lab - where concept products are made and tested - but would continue to be tested internally and "built for the future".

However, despite several rumours of a new version of the headset since, no announcements have been forthcoming and its official channel on social site Google+ has not been updated since January 2016.

Since the demise of Glass, virtual reality headsets have become increasingly popular among consumers.

Three high-profile systems - HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR - have all launched in the UK, as have a range of lower-priced options that work by placing a smartphone into headgear to act as the screen.

This includes Google's own Daydream View headset, which pairs with the company's flagship Pixel smartphone.

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