Google is once again expanding the availability of early Google Glass units to more users by sending emailed invitations to some subscribers of the Google Music All Access streaming music service.
The existence of the latest round of invitations was unveiled Dec. 31 in a report by Gizmodo, which stated that some Google Music All Access users have been receiving the emails.
"With the launch of Google Play Music on Google Glass, we've secured VIP invitations for All Access customers to join the Glass Explorer Program," read the emails. "Interested in rocking out while exploring with Glass? Sign up to receive your invitation below!"
Previous offers to buy Glass went to potential buyers who had to share good reasons to buy one of the devices, or went to previous buyers who might want the latest versions. In October, Google began a new Glass program that allows existing users to invite up to three friends to buy their own eyewear-mounted computers now, before they go on sale to the general public sometime later this year. The invite-a-friend program is being viewed by Google as a way to expand its Glass Explorer Program, which is the name used for the first test users of the innovative devices. Existing Glass users will also now have a one-time chance to trade in their current Glass devices for the latest model, which includes improvements and updates.
Interested users still have to pay $1,500 plus shipping and taxes to purchase them.
In December 2013, Google announced improvements with the integration of Google Play Music All Access with Glass devices. For music lovers, the broadened Glass controls for Google Play Music All Access subscribers now allow users to pick between their playlists and radio, or try the "I'm feeling lucky" button to create a radio station based on previous listening history. Users can also tap on the "OK glass" icon and then the "listen" icon to choose their favorite songs.
Google also added a new wink function that let's users take a photograph with only a wink of their eye. The wink function could in the future let users make purchases, obtain search results and much more, according to Google. The wink capability was one of the most popular requests for future features for Glass, the company stated.
The new wink function will let users capture the moments they care about with a simple wink of the eye, while opening the door to more potential uses, according to Google, which could eventually include winking to pay for a fare in a taxi or winking at a pair of shoes in a shop window to have just the right size shipped to your door.
Other new features include a screen lock for Glass to prevent unauthorized users from operating the devices and a new iOS app for iPhone fans to use with Glass.
Also new in the latest Glass updates are capabilities for Glass users to participate in Google Hangouts using Glass.
In November, Glass received updated software that added some helpful improvements, including the ability for users to access their personalized Google Calendar appointments and upcoming events while using Glass. Also added in the update is an easier first-time setup process and simpler commands for using Glass to go to work or to get home.
Google Glass has been a topic of conversation among techies since news of it first arrived in 2012. The first Google Glass units began shipping in April 2013 to developers who signed up at the June 2012 Google I/O conference to buy an early set for $1,500 for testing and development, at which it was the hit of the conference. Google also then began shipping Glass units to lucky users who were selected in the #ifihadglass contest for the opportunity to buy their own early versions of Glass.
Each Google Glass device includes adjustable nose pads and a high-resolution display that Google said is the equivalent of a 25-inch high-definition screen from 8 feet away. The glasses also feature a built-in camera that takes 5-megapixel photos and video at 720p. Audio is delivered to wearers through their bones, using bone-conduction transducers.