They do look better, less sci-fi, more natural.
I think heads up displays are our wearable tech future. After using several fantastic smartwatches, nothing seems to solve the problem of eye-level information like Google Glass. Of course it brings a completely different kind of stigma in that you’re wearing a computer on your face, which really seems to weird people out. A common criticism of Glass is that it looks too geeky, and now it seems Google is taking steps to curb that complaint.
Following their partnership with eye wear designer Warby Parker, Google is piggy-backing on the designer’s Titanium Collection of frames with four new looks for Glass that Google is calling “The Titanium Collection”. Not very original, but Google isn’t known for fashion, so maybe it’s better they leave that job to the pros.
This also marks the beginning of Glass supporting prescription lenses. From the FAQ: “Google is in partnership with VSP Vision Care for VSP members and VSP eye care providers to receive reimbursement on Glass frames up to the frame allowance provided within their current vision benefit. The prescription lenses are also covered under the patients’ lens benefit offering through their VSP coverage.”
See the new frames in this Google promo vid:
This does not change the process by which you go about getting Glass, it’s still a very public BETA, and the Explorer program is still the gateway through which people acquire their own face computer. This is simply another iteration in the design of the heads up display, hopefully making them a bit more socially acceptable for people who are concerned about the design of the original Explorer Edition Glass. Google is pushing into very new territory, and that can make consumers squirrely. Restaurant owners asking Explorers to leave, law enforcement issuing citations for operating motor vehicles with screens visible to the driver, there’s a stigma to this product Google’s going to need to overcome. You know you’re in trouble when The Simpsons dedicates an entire episode to showcasing how socially awkward heads up displays are.
The Explorer program isn’t getting the job done. For as many people who are fantastic ambassadors for this technology, there are just as many Glassholes who taint the product in the minds of people who might be apprehensive about its capabilities and their privacy. Google is still publicly stating “the end of 2014” for the consumer launch of Glass, but they’ve got some significant PR hurdles to clear before then. These new frames at least area step in the right direction.
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Full Google FAQ below: Continue reading “Will more attractive frames solve Google’s Glass perception problem?”