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Google brings turn-by-turn directions to Glass, though it still faces UK driving ban

More than a year after its debut, Google Glass is still generating excitement. This week, Google posted a video (above) that shows off one of the most powerful features of Glass: turn-by-turn directions.

Several members of the Google Glass team joined forces to demonstrate what it looks like to navigate the world as a pedestrian, on a bike, and in a car while using Glass.

"I love cycling and there are tons of great places to explore in San Francisco. Glass helps me navigate to cool new spots with turn-by-turn directions, completely hands-free," said Google Glass product director Steve Lee.

According to the Google Glass support page, the selected navigation directions will continue to operate in the background even when the Google Glass display is turned off. So while turn-by-turn directions are nothing new, the notion of having a virtual assistant whisper directions into your ear as you walk around will likely be more popular than having to stare at a smartphone map or constantly reference a dashboard navigation terminal.

Aside from the purely practical aspects of this feature, the possibilities related to gaming, tourism, and public safety are numerous and fascinating to consider. Of course, there will be hurdles.

For example, the British government is already exploring potential bans on driving while wearing Google Glass.

Earlier this week, meanwhile, Google released several other new features for Glass, including new voice commands.

"To kick things off, we're introducing two new voice commands: 'Post an update' (first supported by Path), and 'Take a note' (first supported by Evernote)," Google said. "Updates and notes are just the beginning; soon you'll be able to use your voice to trigger all sorts of services. We'll keep you posted (pun very much intended) as we roll out more."

Google has also promised "more useful information" via the touchpad, including restaurants, hotels, events, movies, and emergency alerts. With the video player, meanwhile, users can now tap to pause, play and swipe to fast forward or rewind.