Tuesday, October 21st15.7°C
23836

Google adds prescription frames, new styles of shades to Glass, its computerized glasses

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Google Glass is getting glasses.

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

The move comes as Google Inc. 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 hasn't 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 eyeglasses 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 for people who wear glasses or sunglasses. Starting Tuesday, the Mountain View, Calif., 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 and the shades, $150. That's on top of the $1,500 price of Glass.

Users can take the frames to any vision care provider for prescription lenses. Google says it is working with insurance provider Vision Service Plan to train eye-care providers around the U.S. on how to work with Glass.

Google says some insurance plans may cover the cost of the frames. VSP, which covers 64 million people in the U.S., will also provide coverage for the frames and prescription lenses as part of its partnership with Google.

Isabelle Olsson, the lead designer for Google Glass, says the new frames open the spectacles up to a larger audience.

She demonstrated the new frames to The Associated Press last week at the Google Glass Basecamp, an airy loft on the eighth floor of New York City's Chelsea Market. It's one of the places where Glass users go to pick up their wares and learn how to use them. Walking in, visitors are greeted, of course, by a receptionist wearing Google Glass.

"We want as many people as possible to wear it," she said.

To that end, Glass's designers picked four basic but distinct frame styles. On one end is a chunky "bold" style that stands out. On the other is a "thin" design — to blend in as much as possible.

Olsson said Google won't be able to compete with the thousands of styles offered at typical eyeglasses stores. Instead, Glass's designers looked at what types of glasses are most popular, what people wear the most and, importantly, what they look good in.

The latter has been a constant challenge for the nascent wearable technology industry, especially for something like Google Glass, designed to be worn on your face. When Google unveiled Glass in a video nearly two years ago, it drew unfavourable comparisons to Bluetooth headsets, the trademarks of the fashion-ignorant technophile.

In designing Google Glass, Olsson and her team focused on three design principles with the goal of creating something that people want to wear. These were lightness, simplicity and scalability. That last one means having different options available for different people — just as there are different styles of headphones, from in-ear buds to huge aviator-style monstrosities.

Google Glass currently comes in five colours — "charcoal," a lighter shade of grey called "shale," white, tangerine and bright blue "sky." The frame attachments out Tuesday are all titanium. Users can mix and match.

"People need to be able to choose," Olsson said. "These products need to be lifestyle products."

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

23658


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14547.71+209.94
S&P CDNX822.2810.93
DJIA16614.81215.14
Nasdaq4419.479+103.404
S&P 5001941.28+37.27
CDN Dollar0.8908+0.005
Gold1249.70+5.00
Oil82.09+0.71
Lumber330.20-0.70
Natural Gas3.697+0.027

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.100.00
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.17+0.05
Cantex0.055-0.025
Anavex Life Sciences0.192+0.001
Metalex Ventures0.045-0.005
Russel Metals33.09+0.81
Copper Mountain Mining2.17+0.18
Colorado Resources0.150.00
ReliaBrand Inc0.012+0.0009
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.060.00
Mission Ready Services0.46+0.01

 



23021

FEATURED Property
2051612#4, 800 Idabel lake Road
2 bedrooms 2 baths
$289,900
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Keep it rubber side down

This time of year, I always worry about which friends of mine will get caught going off the road in adverse weather conditions. With a little preparation most accidents can be avoided. Having won the...


Big bank predicts rate hike

Photo: Thinkstock.comThe end of record-low rates is nigh, according to one major bank, which has taken a stance and predicted when the Bank of Canada will raise its long-standing overnight rate. &ldq...


Experts share strategies in Kelowna

The third week in October is “Small Business Week”, a week dedicated to supporting local, small businesses. The week was designed to bring awareness to Canadians about the role small busin...

_





23803


Member of BC Press Council


23121