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April 15, 2014

Fancy getting your hands on Google Glass?

Much-hyped wearable technology device will be available to the public for one day only today, and will feature a range of new updates.

By Vinod

Google has announced a round of updates for its Google Glass wearable technology device, ahead of the hardware going on sale to the general public.

The search giant is offering Glass for general sale for $1,500 today for a limited time, meaning member of the public can now become part of the Explorer family.

"To discover new places, sometimes we need to leave the map behind," Google said announcing the sale. "And that’s what Glass Explorers do."

"They are the first to make, to tinker, to create, to shape, and to share through Glass. We’re expanding little by little, and experimenting with different ways of bringing new Explorers into the program."

But with only a short supply of the devices available, demand is expected to be huge, so if you’re looking to get your hands on one, you need to head over to Google’s How To Buy page at 9am EDT (12pm BST) to get in the queue.

Unfortunately for those of us in the UK, new customers will need to be US residents with a US shipping address, and over 18 years old to sign up to the program, with users in other locations having to hang on a bit longer.

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Google Glass

The new owners of Glass devices will be able to benefit from a number of new updates, announced by Google on its Glass + profile page last night.

The changes include an upgrading of the devices’ software, which will now be the latest version of Android, 4.4 KitKat. Google says this upgrade will bring improved battery life and will make the device more reliable and easier to update in the future, as well as allowing developers to create new apps using the most advanced SDK available for Android.

Other new features include the ability to share photos in Google Hangout, so users can now send a photo directly as a reply to incoming messages. Photos and videos will now also be stored in daily bundles, making them easier to find when scrolling through a collection.

The voice command system has also been given a tweak, now being sorted by recency and frequency so that users can identify which they are using most often.

As well as giving, however, Google has also taken away a key service in the new round of changes, removing the ability to make video calls for the time being, as the current system was not performing well enough.

"We hold ourselves to high standards for the features that we build, and video calls aren’t living up to these standards," the company wrote, adding that fewer than 10% of its users even used the service, and many had called for its removal

"We’ve always said that feedback from Explorers shapes Glass, and this is no exception," Google said, adding that it had also made sending feedback to the company via Glass much easier.

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