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Google shows off Glass redesign, complete with mono earbud

A day after Google announced Explorers would be able to exchange their by-now-probably-slightly-worn Glass specs for the very latest set, the Mountain View-based company has released images of what upgraders can expect.

The most obvious difference is the introduction of a not-so-subtle mono earbud seemingly wedged into the ear of the models like a cork in a wine bottle. Wonder if it makes the popping sound when you pull it out. The earbud will do what earbuds generally do – deliver audio to the user. The bud is optional, as Glass also uses bone conduction for audio, transmitting sound to the wearer’s inner ear through the bones of their skull.

As for the overall design, it looks almost identical to what went before, though could it be that the end of the arm, located behind the ear, is a little larger than before? If so, it wouldn’t surprise us, as this is where Glass’s battery is located, and getting maximum user time without having to run off for juice is one of the key challenges for the Glass team.

The device can apparently run for a day on a single battery charge, though that assumes you’re not going big-time on functions such as video. One Explorer said earlier this year that shooting a six-minute video took 20 percent of the battery, giving you just 30 minutes of recording time before having to grab the charger.

google glass oct 2013

In its Google+ post Monday, the Web giant said the updated hardware will be compatible “with future lines of shades and prescription frames,” though looking at the images here, it’s not yet clear how that’s going to work out.

Google’s swap-out offer will also let Glass users grab a new color, but there are currently no details on the available options. More information about the upgrade opportunity will be coming Glass users’ way in November.

The company also said on Monday it will roll out its Explorer program to more users, asking current members to invite three friends to join. Of course, anyone taking up the offer will have to hand over $1500 for the specs, but no doubt there’ll be few who turn down the chance to become an early adopter of this much-talked-about piece of kit.

Glass is expected to hit stores in the first half of next year, with Google rumored to be kitting out an enormous floating structure in San Francisco Bay to market its high-tech specs.

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