Ever since Google Glass was announced back in early 2012, people have asked, ‘what about those who wear glasses?’ Google’s answer to that question has been ‘wear contacts for now, we’ll have prescription glasses at some point.’ Now the company has finally announced that prescription frames are ready for Google Glass, and also made available two new styles of sunglasses.
Google Glass, the company’s unobtrusive head mounted display, is not yet available to those outside of ‘Explorer‘ program, but the company is expected to make the HMD publically available later this year. With nearly 64% of American’s wearing corrective glasses, Google had little choice but to eventually make prescription lenses and frames available for use with Google Glass, assuming they want to break into the mainstream.
Google (or at least some of its employees) have been testing prescription frames for some time. Road to VR spotted one of the first prescription lenses on Google Glass out in the wild back in December of 2012.
Yesterday, Google announced via the Glass Google+ page that four styles of prescription frames are now available, which they’re calling the ‘Titanium Collection’, along with a little bonus—two new sunglasses styles were also added to the accessory lineup.
Google is not manufacturing prescription lenses themselves. Instead, the company has made available four titanium frames that ship with non-prescription lenses. Google asks that you take the frames to your eyecare provider to have your prescription lenses cut and fit to the frames. The company has a list of ‘Preferred [Eyecare] Providers‘ which it says are “specially trained on Glass and are well versed on the specifics of fulfilling prescription frame lenses.” Google also says you can use your own eyecare provider and notes that the cost of frames and lenses may be covered by some insurance plans. Google Glass Explorers can buy the new frames at the Glass Shop for $225 each.
In addition to the Active style sunglasses that ship with all Glass units, Google also announce two new clip-in sunglasses for Glass. The Classic and Edge styles are available at the Glass Shop for $150 each. Glass Shades have polarized, impact-resistant lenses from Maui Jim and Zeal Optics, according to Google. The two new styles have gradient tints, while the Active style has a constant tint.
Google says that the purpose of the Glass V2 that started shipping late last year was to add compatibility for these new frames.
Rochester Optical is another (unofficial) option for Google Glass prescription frames and lenses. The company is offering 8 different styles in 11 colors, starting at $238, which may prove to be less expensive than Google’s offering when you factor in the cost of having prescription lenses added to Google’s own Glass frames.