If you’ve tried wearing Google Glass over your prescription eyewear, you know just how uncomfortable and bulky the experience is. Luckily, Google is furthering its efforts to make Glass compatible with prescription lenses, partnering with Rochester Optical.
The search engine giant will be working with Rochester Optical to design and manufacture “custom prescription, fashion and sports lenses” for Google’s heads-up display. Rochester expects to have the lenses ready by early next year, which would come complete with transitions, tinting, and matching color wire frames.
This is far from being the first time we’ve heard about Google’s ambitions to bring prescription lenses to its wearable computer. A Google patent published in July detailed plans to manufacture a prescription-friendly edition of Glass. Rather than just inserting prescription lenses in place of the sunglass or Clear Shield compatible with Glass, this eyewear would be a full-fledged set of spectacles with an attachable module for the prism display. Combine that with reports that Google is in talks with Warby Parker, and it becomes clear that prescription-friendly Glass headsets are well underway.
The search engine giant is certainly wise to do so. Right now the Explorer Edition of Glass is limited to those who have perfect vision or wear contacts. Two of our glasses-toting co workers who tried wearing Glass over their everyday eyewear reported a very poor user experience. Both said that the heads-up display felt heavy to wear over regular glasses, and it was difficult to see the tiny rectangular display.
Google Glass is on track for a 2014 consumer launch, although the company has yet to specify an exact time frame.