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?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: IT Support Technician - Helpdesk

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a succ...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Field Engineer - Stoke On Trent / Staffordshire

    £22000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Guru Careers: Network Field Support Engineer / Field Engineer

    £25 - 30k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Network Field Support Engineer is needed...

    Guru Careers: IT Support Analyst / 1st Line Software Support Engineer

    £25 - 30k + Benefits: Guru Careers: An IT Support / 1st Line Software Support ...

    Day In a Page

    Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

    Solved after 200 years

    The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
    Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

    Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

    Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
    Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

    Sunken sub

    Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
    Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

    Age of the selfie

    Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
    Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

    Not so square

    How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
    Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

    Still carrying the torch

    The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
    The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

    The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

    ...but history suggests otherwise
    The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

    The bald truth

    How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
    Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

    Tour de France 2015

    Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
    Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

    A new beginning for supersonic flight?

    Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash
    I would never quit Labour, says Liz Kendall

    I would never quit party, says Liz Kendall

    Latest on the Labour leadership contest
    Froome seals second Tour de France victory

    Never mind Pinot, it’s bubbly for Froome

    Second Tour de France victory all but sealed
    Oh really? How the 'lowest form of wit' makes people brighter and more creative

    The uses of sarcasm

    'Lowest form of wit' actually makes people brighter and more creative
    A magazine editor with no vanity, and lots of flair

    No vanity, but lots of flair

    A tribute to the magazine editor Ingrid Sischy
    Foraging: How the British rediscovered their taste for chasing after wild food

    In praise of foraging

    How the British rediscovered their taste for wild food