Google unveils new frames + partnership for Glass


Being a Glass Explorer has its ups and downs, especially when you need a pair of prescription glasses. Good news for Explorers, Google has unveiled its Titanium Collection, a new set of frames that allows prescription glasses users to enjoy wearing Glass as well. The Titanium Collection offers four new frames to choose from: Split, Thin, Bold and Curve, plus two new shades to choose from. These are just frames, not new versions of Google Glass.

Despite rumors in the past that it was partnering with designers such as Warby Parker, the Titanium Collection was designed by Google. Designing the frames itself may be for the best, as Google knows better than anyone else how Glass works, and so it can choose the best frames to go with the device.

Google Glass was designed to be ‘modular’, which means it can be easily removed from the headband it’s shipped with to be fitted with any of the new Titanium frames. The downside is, purchasing a new frame and having it fitted with prescription lenses doesn’t give you an extra pair of prescription glasses, as the right arm of the frame is shorter, it’s only usable with Glass.

Google knows that owning Glass isn’t cheap. If you’re an Explorer, you’ve already paid $1,500 for the device, and now if you want a new frame from the Titanium Collection, it will set you back another $225 for each frame, or $150 for each new clip-on shades, so it has partnered with VSP to help cover some of the cost of the new frames or prescription lenses.

VSP’s support for Google Glass comes at a time when analysts are predicting that the next wave of computing devices will be wearable technology, as it makes its way out of sci-fi flicks into mainstream.

“We know our 64 million members are seeing and hearing about Google Glass and how it will affect their lives and vision, so we are really focusing on the eye health management perspective,” said Jim McGrann, president of VSP Vision Care, VSP’s insurance division.

“We see this whole concept of smart eyewear continuing to evolve as an opportunity to provide instant information,” he added.

The new frames may make Glass more appealing to consumers since the device will look less cyborg-ish, but that doesn’t mean the public will now warm up to cameras on people’s face.  Having hipster frames still doesn’t give you the right to be a #Glasshole, so don’t ruin the experience for everyone else.