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Google rolls out new Glass hardware to Explorers

While the public still waits for the consumer version of Google Glass sometime next year, "Glass Explorers" will soon get the chance to try out the second generation of Google's wearable computers.

Google this week announced that Explorers will get revamped Glass hardware, and this week showed off pictures of the new prototype smartglasses. While the new design remains largely the same, the biggest and most obvious change tech-wise is the addition of a single, mono earbud connected through the charging port.

Although users can skip the add-on in favour of the bone-conduction speaker of the original, Google claims the addition greatly improves audio quality.

The Glass refresh might also support "an upcoming line of shades and prescription frames," according to TechHive. Google said in March that it expects prescription versions of Glass to be available.

However, all the improvements in the world won't help Glass Explorers if their fancy gadgets keep getting them in trouble with the law. According to Engadget, a San Diego commuter was recently ticketed for "Driving with Monitor visible to Driver (Google Glass)." But, it's worth noting the user was initially pulled over for speeding.

While the commuter intends to challenge the legality of the ticket, the incident is just the latest in a string of challenges to using Glass while driving. Lawmakers from the UK to West Virginia have tried to ban the practice, but thus far nothing has been put in place.

It will likely take some time before smartglasses are as ubiquitous as smartphones, but when they are, expect some serious legal wrangling.