Skip to main content

Google updates Glass software with ‘Vignettes’, sound search and more

Google Glass
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Google’s face-based Glass device has come on leaps and bounds in recent months thanks to the monthly software updates rolled out by the Mountain View company, each one giving Explorers a bunch of new features to play about with.

The latest update, released on Monday, includes something Google’s calling Vignettes, which essentially allows the Glass wearer to take a screenshot of their display, which will therefore include, for example, any data from the Web superimposed on the scene before them at the time.

So, just after taking a photo of something, tap and select ‘make Vignette’ and a new image – together with any on-screen information – will be created. Google shows a few Vignette images of its own by way of example, including one (below) showing a photo of a motorcycle together with its specifications, pulled from the Web, shown down the side.

glass vignette
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Another new feature is YouTube videos for search results.

“You’ll now see YouTube results for some searches,” the Glass project says on its Google+ page. “For example, imagine your bike tire’s just gone flat. Walk it home? Nope. Now, you can find and watch a quick YouTube video on how to fix it in a flash. Just tap to play and pause, swipe forward to fast forward and backward to rewind.”

Sound search

The new sound search feature runs along the same lines as song-recognition service Shazam, allowing you to ID a track simply by performing a long press on the touchpad followed by a swipe forward. The song name will then flash up on your display. Alternatively, you can follow the long touchpad press with the question, “What song is this?” to pull up the same result.

Finally, in response to user requests, Google Apps accounts have been brought to Glass.

“You asked, we listened, we toiled and now we are building and testing Glass with Google Apps accounts,” the company said. “Some services, like email, are working already. Feel free to try it out by factory resetting your Glass, and signing in with your Google Apps account.”


Glass development is moving along at some pace, with many hoping to see the revolutionary wearable tech launch in the first half of next year.

Glass project leader Babak Parviz said recently his team is currently looking to improve the gadget’s battery, which at the moment lasts around a day for “typical use”. It also wants to improve its video processing capabilities.

The project leader said that all in all the team has so far made a “good solid first step” with Glass as the intriguing new product heads steadily towards launch day.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
Your Google One plan just got 2 big security updates to keep you safe online
Two Google Pixel 7 Pro smartphones.

Google just added some major new security features to keep its Google One subscribers safe while on the web. After all, the internet is where you spend a lot of your time, whether that's looking things up, paying bills, shopping, booking appointments, or sharing photos with family and friends. That’s a lot of information, and Google wants to keep subscribers safe from the darker side of the web.

Regardless of whether you use an iPhone or an Android smartphone, all Google One subscribers are getting the following two security features.
VPN by Google One for everyone

Read more
When is my phone getting Android 13? Google, Samsung, OnePlus, and more
Android 13 logo on a Google Pixel 6a.

Android 13 has been available for Android phones since late 2022, and it's a pretty minor update from Google. Well, we say minor, but that's only in comparison to the positively gargantuan number of changes that were in Android 12 — and in light of Google's policy of trickling out improvements to Android apps over the course of a year as soon as they're ready. Android 13 is more of a tune-up to the engine that powers your phone than anything else. But it's still one worth getting excited for.

Tablet and foldable owners will see the most benefits, and there will be some updates to Material You to improve Android's customizability. There really isn't much else to say about Android 13. It's a very under-the-hood update, and that trend appears to be continuing with the upcoming Android 14 as well.

Read more
Update your Google Pixel 7 now for three big security and audio features
Google Pixel 7 home screen with rainbow gradient wallpaper in light

Every few months, Google releases Feature Drops with new features and fixes for its Pixel phones. While 2022 may be nearly over, that hasn't stopped Google from pushing one final Feature Drop before the year ends.

This latest Feature Drop is primarily focused on adding features to the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro that Google announced in October when it first unveiled the phones. The first big addition is free Google One VPN access. Anyone with a Pixel 7 or 7 Pro can use a Google One-powered VPN at no additional cost — this is great for more secure web browsing. Considering Google's VPN is traditionally only available with a $10-per-month Google One subscription, it's a nice value add we're happy to see.

Read more