Google taps hipster startup for advice on Google Glass

Google's Glass networked specs may get a hipster touch, with the web giant reportedly teaming up with e-commerce eyewear startup Warby Parker.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

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. 

Editorial standards