Google's next Glass project could be prescription lenses

Google's next Glass project could be prescription lenses

Summary: Offering a prescription option could make Google Glass much more viable on the consumer tech market.


What could be one of the next waves of Google Glass sounds far more innovative (not to mention useful) than an earbud accessory.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Internet giant is in talks with VSP Global, a network of both vision benefits providers and eyewear makers, to take Glass to the next step -- at least practically speaking.

That would be prescription lenses.

As Glass looks and feels now, it is doable to actually wear Glass and regular prescription glasses together. But it would be far less clunky and much more logical to just have a single pair of specs resting on one's nose.

The simplification would also mark another advantage to wearable technology.

Arguably one of the goals of Glass (and other versions of wearables, like smart watches) is to eventually produce a pair that could stand in place of a smartphone while on-the-go. With prescriptions (for those who need them), Glass could consolidate even more accessories into one someday.

There isn't a timetable available yet, and Google hasn't commented publicly on the discussions either.

This also isn't the first time that an optical lens producer has reportedly been tapped for Glass involvement. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company reportedly reached out to hipster eyewear startup Warby Parker earlier this year for some design tips.

Given that Google is already gearing up to release the next edition of the Internet-connected headset, it is likely that prescription versions won't come around until at least the third installment of the platform -- if even that soon.

Glass is also still far from being a consumer product. The Explorer prototype, which admittedly has more apps and functionality by the month, is still tethered to one's smartphone and cannot replace one in productivity either. Not to mention there was that exorbitant $1,500 price tag too.

Nevertheless, offering a prescription option (in combination with at least a price reduction) would make Glass much more attractive (and feasible) on the consumer tech market.

Topics: Mobility, Google, Hardware, Health

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  • Uhm... Back here in realityland...

    "Offering a prescription option could make Google Glass much more viable on the consumer tech market."

    You know - actually *shipping* it might actually make it much more viable on the consumer tech market.

    So would getting the price down from $1500 to say $400.

    And being able to just order online would help, rather than having to go to San Fran or New York to pick them up.

    Oh.. and making them available to people outside the US.

    But yes, making them work with prescription glasses would be a nice thing too. For the tiny elite who have one. Oh..wait - they already have one - I can't seem anyone paying another $1500 to upgrade....
  • No Thanks

    Google was fined $500 million for advertising illegal drugs. Sorry, no thanks and stay away from anything google, they are just thieves and cry babies.
    • You must be talking about Microsoft again.

      I still haven't seen anyone else that steals so much from so many.

      Would you mind listing what Google has stolen?

      As for crying, nobody does it better than Microsoft. As well as bribing governments to go after any competitor.
      • I see. The old "misdirection" ploy

        Someone says something about the company you champion for, so instead of discussing the facts at hand, try for the old "misdirection" in an attempt to not have to address the statement by steering things in another direction.

        So, does Owl;Net make a good point, should you trust a company that knowingly does the things Google does for ad revenue?

        Remember, they actually HELPED those pharmacies place the ads until the found out that the DoJ caught on, then they decided to "enforce" the rules.

        So no, it sure sounds like he's talking about Google. Again.
  • Insurance Coverage

    I'm guessing that if it supports prescription lenses, some insurance plans would then cover a portion of the cost, thereby increasing adoption.
  • I want

    Glasses with voice activated optical zoom. For anyone from crafters, to surgeons, to electronic technicians to seniors trying to read prescription bottles, hands free voice activated optical zoom would be a tremendous benefit
  • Prescription lens for memory loss patient

    Immediately comes to mind, support for people with a memory fatigue,
    who could get Glass as prescription lens that supports getting reminded of things.
    "Glass home" - Ok will now guide you how to get home.
    "Glass newspaper" - Your favorite newspaper is named the New York Times.
    "Glass day of week" - Today is Wednesday.
    "Glass mother" - your mother is named Betty.