GOOGLE is experimenting with Glass, its wearable computer that look like spectacles. The product’s creators want to get the device out into the real world and find out how people get on with it.

There were raised eyebrows when Google Glass was first announced, not least from new Glass owners themselves, trying to get accustomed to the bulky frame, crammed with components.

Now there's a new version of Glass ( /glass/start), and if you were one of the fortunate few to get your hands on a pair in the first place, you can upgrade for free.

There’s some debate about what Glass really is. Is it a phone you wear? Not quite. Is it a computer? Well, sort of. But unlike most computers these days, you have to learn how to use it.

Glass responds to voice commands, preceded by the phrase “OK Glass”. If you want to take a photo, you have to say “OK Glass, take a picture” and only that command will work.

Google is iterating its design in public, using those brave Glass owners as guinea pigs to put the Glass hardware and software through its paces. Feedback is vitally important. Google wants to know how Glass works in the real world, good things and bad.

But it couldn’t rely on any Tom, Dick or Harry to provide that reliable feedback. That’s why it sold Glass for 1,500 dollars to a handful of people who applied for the privilege.

The new version includes an ear bud for sound, instead of the strange bone induction sound system that came on the first device, and was generally poorly received.

Anyone already taking part in the trial will also get a chance to nominate three friends to join in – as long as each of them also has another 1,500 dollars going spare, and is willing to chip in with more feedback.

This process of testing in public and pulling in feedback is getting results.

Google says there should be a consumer version of Glass – at a much lower price – some time during 2014.

So watch out.