Not content with being an ever-watchful eye on the world, Google Glass will also provide the soundtrack to your day. In a major expansion of the headset's capabilities, Google will for the first time allow for stereo playback through Glass with the addition of a new accessory. According to a report from the New York Times, a set of earbuds will go on sale later this month for $85, plugging into the same USB port as the mono earbud Google revealed last month.
"Okay Glass, listen to ..."
In addition to the new accessory, a software update today lays the foundation for a richer music experience. You've been able to ask Glass "what song is this?" for a couple of months now, but Google is also adding a "listen to" command that will integrate with the company's Play Music service. Because of the way the music app is set up (it's simultaneously a Spotify-esque streaming service, an online music locker, and a local music-file player) combining the "what song is this?" and "listen to" commands should allow users to identify and listen to an extremely broad range of music. The New York Times article notes that, for now, only Play Music will be integrated into Glass, but services from other companies are expected to be allowed on the headset.
Some of the new functionality is demoed in the latest promotional spot for Glass. In the video, record producer Young Guru uses Glass to translate English into Spanish, identify a track playing in a diner, and purchase that track on vinyl. The NYT quotes Google's latest Glass promoter as noting that "it's an immense timesaver, and a great tool to make the world that much cooler." At present, Google's headset is only available to select customers at $1,500. A consumer version of Glass is expected to launch by the end of 2014.