Google Plans to Bring Hangouts App and More Social Features to Glass

Image credit: Google

During a three-hour keynote at its Google I/O conference, Google didn't talk at all about Glass, its glasses that overlay digital information in the physical world.

However, the company did talk about some features that we have now learned will be coming to the digital glasses.

At the event, Google announced a number of changes coming to its Google Plus social network and a new messaging app called Hangouts. When asked how Google was planning to integrate more social functionality into Glass, Google's senior vice president of engineering, Vic Gundotra, told ABC News, "Hangouts is the answer. Our focus is on face-to-face to face communications. The Hangout app we just showed is going to be available for Glass."

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Gundotra and Vice President of Engineering for Google Plus David Besbris said their team was working on the Glass app now. When asked by ABC News if there will be deeper social tools - for instance, the ability to look at a friend and see some more information about them - Gundotra and Besbris said, "Stay tuned."

While they didn't detail how the app would work, Google has said that Glass apps shouldn't be distracting.

"Glass is a new category; it is quite different than existing computing devices," Google CEO Larry Page said at the end of the Google I/O keynote today. "Our main goal is to get happy users using Glass. We want to make sure we are building experiences that make users happy."

Earlier this month, Google began shipping the $1,500 Explorer Edition version of Glass to early adopters and software developers. Currently, you can see notifications from your Google Plus account on the small display on the glasses and share photos to your account. You can also host a video hangout or a video chat with friends. Using the camera, you can share what you see with friends and you can see them in the screen.

The Hangout app, which was announced today and is different from the video hangout feature, is available for Chrome, iOS and Android.