Google Glass just got a lot less geeky
The headset of the future now works with prescription lenses
Just shy of a year after the Google Glass Explorer edition started arriving on early adopters’ doorsteps, Google is announcing a way for people who need prescription glasses to use it. The company is releasing four different frames that can both fit the Google Glass hardware and accommodate corrective lenses. Glass is still limited to the small group of people who have been accepted into the “Explorer Program” (a wider consumer launch is planned for later this year), so while it’s good that these frames make Glass usable for more people, it’s not yet available to all.
All four frames are available today for $225. That’s alternately pricey or reasonable, depending on how you buy glasses, but any potential buyers will also need to spend $1,499 on Glass itself — which is to say it’s likely only those with a decent amount of disposable income would be interested anyway. If you’ve already bought Glass, you can just buy the frames and attach your current device.
Google is calling the new frames the “Titanium collection,” and it has designed them itself rather than partnering with an outside company like Warby Parker. But Google taking on the design itself is actually pretty good news, because all four options are as good-looking as you could reasonably expect them to be — considering that they’re designed to work with a computer attached to your face.
Microsoft Acquires ‘Gears of War’ From Epic, Assigns Next Game To Black Tusk Studios
Microsoft has put a padlock on its Xbox One war chest by acquiring the rights to the popular Gears of War franchise from Epic Games, the software giant announced today. This means that future Gears of War games can and probably will remain exclusive to Microsoft’s platforms, having helped to launch the Xbox 360.
This continues the trend of the major console players prioritizing retention of IP over talent. The most explosive example of this was of course the departure of key staff from Infinity Ward from Activision, which has done little to slow down the Call of Duty juggernaut. Bungie, creators of the Halo franchise, were allowed to depart from ownership by Microsoft, but the valuable Halo IP was retained at Redmond, developed first by Bungie itself and subsequently by 343 Industries. The Gears of War acquisition includes “all existing and future games, entertainment experiences and merchandise”.
Although the last instalment of the series, Gears of War: Judgment, underperformed in the market, affected by the relatively recent release of the climactic Gears of War 3, the absence of the iconic Marcus Fenix in the lead role and possibly the transfer of much of the creative duties to People Can Fly, which had been purchased and rebranded as Epic Games Poland, it remains one of the most iconic Xbox franchises. Over its lifetime, the franchise has sold 22 million units, representing over $1 billion.
The iPhone 5c Comes in Green, Yellow, Blue, Red, White and Disappointing
It has been clear for a while now that the colorful iPhone 5c hasn’t been the hit that Apple was hoping for.
That point was put in black and white throughout Apple’s quarterly earnings report on Monday.
It was clear as the company reported iPhone sales of 51 million units — a record, but not the 54 million or more figure that some analysts were expecting.
The iPhone 5c disappointment was most clear in North America, where Apple’s sales actually dropped from a year ago even as they rose steadily in most of the rest of the world.
“In North America we did not do as well,” CEO Tim Cook said during a conference call with analysts.
Part of the problem, Cook said, was the fact that when the company forecasted demand for the holiday quarter, it expected the 5c to make up considerably more of its sales than the product did, resulting in a shortage of the higher-end iPhone 5s that customers preferred. The company spent the rest of the quarter trying to adjust for demand, Cook said.
Nintendo says it has ‘no plans’ to offer minigames on smartphones
Rumors of Nintendo exploring smartphone games continue to pile up, but the company is denying the latest. Yesterday, Japanese business daily Nikkei reported that Nintendo would be using smartphones as a platform for releasing videos and minigames to promote its Wii U and 3DS titles. However, the company has since said that it will not be offering games on non-Nintendo hardware. “We can confirm that there are no plans to offer minigames on smartphone devices,” Nintendo explained in a statement. Nintendo has previously denied Nikkei rumors that have turned out to be true, however — in June 2012 the paper reported that Nintendo was working on a larger version of the DS, which the company denied. The 3DS XL was announced later that month.
Geek This Week:
Aaron: Re-watched the 2007 MacWorld keynote. Removed almost 4GB of SMS data from my iPhone. Ordered more ‘things’ for my SmartThings system.
Gozer: TV Tag & Ghost Trap & terror dogs
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