Google Glass: Prescription frames introduced to prep the technology for primetime

The technology may not be available yet in the UK, but Google are keen to normalise Glass - launching a new range of stylish, all-titanium frames

A major barrier for the mainstream adoption of Google Glass will be how geeky the technology looks. Google’s wearable computer may be considered chic by the tech-savvy of Silicon Valley but to the average consumer they look awkward and almost embarrassingly futuristic.

Now, as part of their on-going effort to normalise Glass, Google has launched a series of prescription spectacles in the US market (the only place the technology is on sale) that are firmly pitched towards the more fashionable end of the market.

Users will be able to buy the frames from Google for $225 a pop (Glass itself costs an additional $1,500) and simply bolt on the tiny screen, 16GB of memory and on-board computer that comprise the technology. Potential users will have to go elsewhere for their lenses though as Google says they won’t be performing eye tests or grinding glass themselves.

In typical simplify-and-consolidate fashion, Google says they have studied the glasses market and distilled the vast variety of frames down to just four, archetypal designs: Bold, Curve, Thin and Split.

This quartet makes up the newly-launched ‘Titanium Collection’, and although the designs feel like they’re leaning towards a twenty-something-graphic-designer stereotype, they do look attractive and entirely inoffensive. Exactly what Google needs.

From left to right and top to bottom: Bold, Curve, Thin, Split designs.

So far, Glass is only in the hands of an enthusiastic and well-heeled minority (the 8,000 or so individuals who have currently signed up for the ‘Explorer program’) but reaction to the technology has been widespread and decidedly mixed.

Besides the privacy implications raised by Glass (critics often note that the on-board camera could be used to covertly snap videos and photos) there’s also been a sizeable backlash against the cultural impact of the device.

Even before Glass was released to developers in February last year the term ‘glasshole’ was pre-emptively coined to define the sort of over-paid and oblivious individual that might adopt the technology Businessmen talking self-importantly into their Bluetooth headsets in a crowded street is bad enough; asking a computer on your face to give you directions to the nearest artisan bakery was a step too far.

Apart from these cultural assumptions, Google will also have to navigate the uncharted legislative waters surrounding Glass. Already this year there have been two incidents in which Glass users have been detained by law-enforcement for wearing the technology at the wrong time – the first occurred at a cinema, and the second whilst driving. Both individuals were eventually cleared of any wrongdoing.

These new frames are a clear step forward to integrating Glass successfully into the society outside a tech-elite. By selling prescription glasses Google are saying that their technology isn’t an optional extra - they want it to become part of your everyday life. Short-sighted people don’t forget their glasses in the morning and Google wants users to feel the same way about Glass.

Read more:

 
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Support and Development Engineer

    £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The leading provider of Employee Managem...

    Recruitment Genius: Creative Designer

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Kent based design consulta...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Gazetteer Consultant

    £25000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking to work for an ...

    Recruitment Genius: Regional Support Manager

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This role's responsibility also include operat...

    Day In a Page

    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
    10 best statement lightbulbs

    10 best statement lightbulbs

    Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
    Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
    Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

    Dustin Brown

    Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
    Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
    Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

    Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

    Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
    John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

    Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

    'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
    Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

    Forget little green men

    Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
    Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

    Dying dream of Doctor Death

    Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy