Google Glass is at the moment a pretty niche device and its main supporters are either having technological backgrounds, either have above the average knowledge in this area and are wealthy enough to afford the $1.500 price of the Explorer edition. Of course, as a Glass owner you wouldn’t have to mind about looking weird neither and from here on, the list of Glass enthusiasts goes narrow.
This year, Google will launch its Glass on the large market and seems that before the event, there are more and more companies interested whether in promoting or integrating the device in their business. One of the newest companies to have joined this trend is VSP, US’s biggest optical insurance company which announced on Tuesday that they have an ongoing partnership with Google, that might add up to Glass’s benefits list. So, by the end of the year anyone who wears prescription Glasses and would like to purchase Glass, could go to a VSP optometry clinic, take an eye exam, choose the frames and they would receive Internet connected glasses from Google. As the numbers say, one of five Americans get their eye insurance from VSP, so Google might have hit a little gold mine over here.
By making this step, Google hopes in getting to those people who are intrigued by the device, would like to try it, but the price seems a bit high. In this case, a smaller price could actually make a difference. The managing director from Accenture, said in an interview for NBC News that the price will come down as soon as the number of early adopters grows.
Buying an insurance from VSP would allow you to personalize your prescription Glasses in four distinct styles. Google released a set of photos with the glasses and they look really good. And for those who enjoy a good cycling trip, Google also prepared three sunglasses models. Now you can send some emails while riding the bike.
For $250 extra, you could choose Isabelle Olson’s design of lightweight titanium frames. Of course, considering Glass’s current price, adding those extra dollars seems a bit spicy, and even if you add it to the rumored Glass price, $600 still seems a lot compared to what you get. However, the subsidies sound pretty interesting and it could draw more people into adopting the concept of a head-mounted device.
The price of the prescription glasses at VSP depends on the customer’s need, can include scratch protection, anti-glare and so on, while the frames go from $125 to $150.
Everything must go in the right direction and an optometrist should also know how to work with Glass, so VSP is currently training optometrist in big cities, such as San Francisco, New York City and Los Angeles. As Jim McGrann, the President of VSP told NBC News, by the end of 2014 they will have trained 6,000 optometrists. They decided to adopt other frames than their own, because Glass has to be placed in a certain way over the eye in order for the experience to be optimum. Otherwise, it could stand in your way and obscure your sight or it could become hard to use. Training doctors into integrating Glass on prescription glasses could bring more enthusiasm from the mainstream market.
The bad news is that we still have to wait by the end of the year for all this to be available, but until then developers and other people included in the Explorer program could switch their computer component on a frame from the Titanium Collection.
Knowing that such a big company like VSP took a stand in the Glass matter could draw other insurance companies to get involved in the wearable industry. A new sign that Google Glass is about to get mainstream, just as the wearable industry itself.