Google taps hipster startup for advice on Google Glass

Google taps hipster startup for advice on Google Glass

Summary: Google's Glass networked specs may get a hipster touch, with the web giant reportedly teaming up with e-commerce eyewear startup Warby Parker.

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Google has reportedly asked a hipster eyewear startup for help designing the frames for its Google Glass networked specs.

Google released a promotional video on Wednesday showing off how it feels to wear its Project Glass eyewear — but the company is now looking to outsource how they will look, two unnamed sources told The New York Times.

According to the paper, Google has turned to e-commerce eyewear startup Warby Parker for help in developing the frames for Google Glass. The company's frames were inspired by beat author Jack Karouac, apparently, and have been seen on Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg and news presenter Katie Couric.

Interestingly, the company has quickly made a name for itself in the tricky areas of corporate social responsibility, and its "Do Good" motto neatly mirrors Google's own "Don't be evil". In its annual report, Warby Parker defines "do good" as stimulating social entrepreneurship, sponsoring junior sports clubs, and making carbon neutral eyewear.

Warby Parker makes hip but affordable glasses, starting at US$95 for its non-prescription specs. It's a stark contrast to Google Glass, which are priced at $1,500.

The reported design partnership comes as Google opened a competition to the US public to get a pair of the 'Explorer' edition of Google Glass. Competition winners will need to cough up the $1,500 plus tax to get the Explorer Edition eyewear that so far has only been made available to developers. 

Topics: Google, Emerging Tech

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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8 comments
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  • New batch of douches

    So I am just getting over the douches who used to wear Bluetooth headsets wherever they went, and now I have to face a whole new batch of douches?
    Joshua Wilson
    • Yeah you do. The oakleys on the other hand I may give a try.

      I hope the warby parker people are a lot more serious about their motto than google is but partnering with google is a bad sign. Google has done more evil crap over the last couple years than any other company by a long shot.
      Johnny Vegas
  • New batch of douches

    So I am just getting over the douches who used to wear Bluetooth headsets wherever they went, and now I have to face a whole new batch of douches?
    Joshua Wilson
  • A comment so nice..

    you get to see it twice!
    Joshua Wilson
  • Lol!

    This is the kind of device that people would only wear in the privacy of their home when nobody could see them because they're afraid of all the laughter they will cause if people see them actually wearing this ridiculous thing.
    Hemo2
    • I would that were true

      Unfortunately, I expect them to become an easy way to determine who all the Internet addicts are.
      John L. Ries
  • Awesome!

    Sweetness! I've been looking for that extra something to go with my bluetooth, fannypack, jamz, and hightop sneakers! Thanks Goggle!
    competitivity
  • Google glass

    This could/will be great.

    How many times have we said "I am terrible at names" and have felt bad or been embarrassed by not remembering someone we only met for a moment?

    They will allow us to have "sanity checks" like, you told me you would have my cabinet installed by Tuesday, right? The automobile gets us around, yet pollutes the air and can kill. This will allow us to learn more about everything and we will either buy it or discard it.
    hawc