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Reg man looks through a Glass, darkly: Google's toy ploy or killer tech specs?

Tip: Put the shades on and you'll look less of a spanner

What you see when you put the thing on

Google reckons the display appears to the user as a 25-inch TV would from 8ft (2.4m) away. That is almost spot on. My office chair sits 2.2 metres from a 26-inch TV and the Glass display and my TV screen appear to be almost exactly the same size. The display only boasts a 640 x 360 display, so web pages and images are hardly super crisp.

Google Glass: With the shades, you look a little less of a spanner

Google Glass: With the shades, you look a little less of a spanner

El Reg in Glass - not exactly HD

El Reg in Glass - not exactly HD

I’ll be surprised if the next generation of Glass doesn't boast a display of at least 1280 x 720.

With 12GB of available storage you shouldn’t find yourself running out of space for your pictures and videos, even without the option of a microSD card. Assuming you are signed up to Google+ (and once again, if you are not and don't want to be, Glass is probably not the ideal gadget for you), then all the images and videos you shoot are backed up to your account automatically.

Glass, I command thee...

Google Glass: Voice control list - dip or raise your head to scroll

Voice control list - dip or raise your head to scroll

Interaction with Glass is surprisingly straightforward. Available voice commands are shown on the display so you always know what the options are and the voice recognition is every bit as reliable as it is on an Android phone using Google Now. If the list of available commands takes up more than one screen, a simple nod of the head scrolls the list.

It’s worth trying the odd command not listed. The word "playlists" doesn't show up on the music card’s command options but if you say it, Glass goes straight to your playlists.

The swipe-and-tap navigation system that uses the right-hand edge of Glass as a touchpad and the notification system will be familiar to anyone who uses the Google Now cards on their Android phone or tablet on a regular basis.

Nod to turn on Google Glass

Nod to turn it on

Meanwhile, the various gesture commands – a nod of the head to bring Glass off standby, a wink to take a photograph – all worked reliably, even though the former is a beta feature.

Audio comes via either the built-in bone conduction transducer or earphones connected through the microUSB port. A mono earbud is bundled.

Google Glass - note the audio out microUSB

The transducer works well though, with audio sounding like it’s coming from a little speaker just over your right shoulder. The handy thing about the transducer is that you can hear calls or music clearly, but still also hear what’s going on around you.

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