Google Glass hits the FCC with Bluetooth 4 LE (which stock Android doesn't support yet)

Google Glass hits the FCC with Bluetooth 4 LE (which stock Android doesn't support yet)
Before you get too excited, while there is a new filing in the FCC for Google Glass, this is undoubtedly the Google Glass Explorer edition, not the final consumer model. The Explorer Edition of Google Glass is the model designed for developers and super-early adopters who shelled out the $1500 at last year's Google I/O to get a pre-release version of the hardware. Still, this model should give us a peek into what to expect with the final model, including Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy (BLE), which is interesting because stock Google doesn't support BLE yet.

Back in November, an Android software engineer at Google, Matthew Xie, confirmed that stock Android does not yet support BLE, but that it "will be the next major feature we are going to add." Some manufacturers like Motorola have added support for BLE to devices, but those depend on new libraries added. So, we're wondering how this was handled at the recent hackathon held for Google Glass. Attendees may have gotten to see more than Google Glass, and may have gotten a peek at the next major upgrade of Android

The WiFi connection in Glass is hard to pinpoint in the filings because one filing mentions 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n WiFi, but another only lists 802.11 b/g WiFi. Though, it seems far more likely that there will be 802.11n support. Another interesting note is that the device is listed as having a "vibrating element" that will provide audio to the user "via contact with the user's head." That sounds quite a lot like bone-conduction sound to us. 

source: FCC via The Verge

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17 Comments

1. caseball2051

Posts: 31; Member since: Feb 09, 2012

i hope this comes to fruition. seems like a cool piece of tech!

2. UrbanPhantom

Posts: 949; Member since: Oct 30, 2012

Gimmick ;o)

3. Hemlocke unregistered

BT 4.0 LE? Amazing tech. By the time Android supports it, Apple will be on its 3rd gen BT LE handsets.

5. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

Sadly, you may be right. Depending on how the release dates for the next Android update and the iPhone 5S shake out, you may be able to say that Apple had 3 BLE compatible handsets out before Android supported it. Of course, even if Android releases first, saying that Apple had 2 BLE iPhones before Android had stock support isn't all that much better.

13. nak1017

Posts: 328; Member since: Jan 08, 2010

I'd be upset with Android not supporting it if anything truly useful or revolutionary supported BLE, and only BLE. At least retail companies are trying with NFC...

15. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

That's just a cop out. Plenty of products support it, just because they also have compatibility for older Bluetooth profiles, doesn't mean Android doesn't need support. My headset supports BLE, but because my Nexus 7 nor Nexus 4 support it, I've still got to charge my headset every couple days.

17. nak1017

Posts: 328; Member since: Jan 08, 2010

Which headset is it because I have so far not seen anything that says BLE supports voice communication (and I'm looking for one for work)? It might pair and maintain connection with a low energy link, but that might be the extent... all the science-y stuff is still being done by the old school battery draining "low tech" method. Saying Apple has somehow leaped ahead of Android because it supported BLE first is a sortof misnomer since it is an iteration of existing feature and has yet to provide any new options that didn't exist before. Apple not including NFC on their phones is a bigger issue IMO. That has the capability to change daily routines, not just improve existing ones. That being said, that doesn't excuse Google from not implementing it sooner. We would probably see better BLE product penetration if they did... (can anyone tell I'm stuck on a tele-con call... sorry for being word-y)

16. buccob

Posts: 2963; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

This is interesting and Google should include it in the next version hopefully.... But remember that iOS did not even support AVRCP until the iPhone 4 if I remember right... So, it goes both ways... and to be honest, most of the time, support for new technologies is more often found on Android...

4. gwuhua1984

Posts: 1237; Member since: Mar 06, 2012

Vibrating element... to my head???? Um... I'm sure they could do better than that...

6. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Somehow, I suspect BT 4.0 LE will be part of the feature set for KLP.

7. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

It's not a suspicion, as stated in the article, Android engineer Matthew Xie confirmed that BLE will be in the next version of Android.

11. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

hey michaelHeller just curious did your crew @ PA pre-order a DEV EDITION OF GLASS? just wondering.

12. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

Not as far as I know. I'd love to get my hands on a pair, though.

8. Twisted247

Posts: 282; Member since: Oct 12, 2012

Go Google go Google go!

14. Nobuga

Posts: 9; Member since: Jan 31, 2013

Google rules

9. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

Hmm, I thought it may have been jumping the gun by calling KLP Android 5.0 (was figuring more on a decimal increase), but perhaps if they're ready to include Google Glass the 5.0 is warranted after all. Then again, Google does like to communicate through lawn sculpture. We'll definitely know Glass is ready when they have a glass Bugdroid out front, as opposed to the recent chrome one. Or, maybe someone just needs to get a closer look at that statue...

10. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

damn wish i pre order one but dont have 1,500$ :(

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