Google Glass update delivers social reminders, emergency alerts

Monthly software update also adds voice commands and movie info

Google's monthly update for its wearable computer, Glass, is giving users more voice commands, along with movie and restaurant information and emergency alerts.

"As you go about your day, Google Now delivers helpful cards with information you need, before you even ask," wrote the Google Glass team in a blog post. "Now, when you swipe backwards on the touchpad, you'll find even more useful information."

The new features baked into the software update include reminders for dinner reservations, hotel bookings and concerts. If one of these businesses sends the Glass user an email confirmation, he or she will automatically get a reminder.

The update also includes an app to help users find movie show times for local theaters as well as another app that issues emergency alerts for events like severe thunderstorms and flash flood warnings.

Other new apps include real-time traffic alerts, weather and live sports scores for favorite teams.

Google also is adding two new voice commands: Take a note, and post an update. Both originally were introduced by third-party developers, but Google is adopting them.

The Google Glass team noted that the two new voice commands are just the beginning and more will be rolled out soon.

Developers can go here to learn how to enable the new commands.

The latest update includes new features for users who watch CNN videos. Now, they can tap to pause and play, and swipe to fast forward or rewind, letting users skip to the parts of video they're most interested in.

Beginning today, the software updates will start rolling out automatically.

At the end of July, Google, looking to expand its Google Glass Explorer program, asked testers of the technology to invite a friend to buy into using a prototype of the wearable computer and try it out.

An Explorer must be 18 or older, a U.S. citizen and available to pick up a system in San Francisco, New York or Los Angeles, according to Google's "Invite a Friend" email.

Those accepting the invitation aren't getting a gift -- each new tester will have to pay the same $1,500 fee paid by the Explorer original group.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her email address is

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Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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