Prescription frames added to Google Glass

Google Glass is getting glasses.

Google is adding prescription frames and new styles of detachable sunglasses to its computerised, internet-connected goggles known as Glass.

The move comes as the company prepares to make Glass available to the general population later this year. Currently, Glass is available only to the tens of thousands of people who are testing and creating apps for it. Glass has not actually had glasses in its frame until now.

Glass is basically a small computer, with a camera and a display screen above the wearer’s right eye. The device sits roughly at eyebrow level, higher than where spectacles would go.

It lets wearers surf the web, ask for directions and take photos or videos. Akin to wearing a smartphone without having to hold it in your hands, Glass also lets people read their email, share photos on Twitter and Facebook, translate phrases while travelling or partake in video chats. Glass follows some basic voice commands, spoken after the words “OK, Glass”.

The gadget itself is not changing with this announcement. Rather, Google plans to make various attachments available. The company is offering four styles of prescription frames and two new types of shades available to its “explorers” — the people who are trying out Glass. The frames will cost $225 (€165) and the sunglasses $150. That is on top of the $1,500 price of Glass.

Users can take the frames to any vision care provider for prescription lenses, though Google said it is working with insurance provider Vision Service Plan to train eyecare providers around the US on how to work with Glass. Google said some insurance plans may cover the cost of the frames.

Isabelle Olsson, the lead designer, said the new frames open the spectacles up to a larger audience.


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