Google’s Internet-connected eyewear Glass is to be given a new range of fashionable titanium frames to broaden its appeal beyond the ranks of the tech-savvy but style-deprived.
The new look spectacles will be compatible with corrective lenses and, thanks to a new collaboration with a private insurer, will become available on prescription.
“This announcement marks the next step in Glass’s evolution and the beginning of a new category of smart eyewear,” the firm said.
The tech giant unveiled a partnership with US vision insurer VSP to make prescription Glass and to reimburse some of the costs under health benefits.
“If we had a nickel for every time someone has asked about prescription lenses for Glass… well, we’d have a lot of nickels,” said a Google Glass blog post that displayed four lightweight styles.
The new models will sell for $225, and in some cases users can get reimbursed under their health plan, according to Google.
That does not include the $1,500 price for Google Glass, which is in a test phase with a small number of “explorers” ahead of a wider release sometime this year.
Google said the current explorers can have their Glass fitted with prescription lenses or get newly designed frames.
The Glass team designed four new frames called Bold, Curve, Thin, and Split, and two new shades, or detachable sunglasses.
“Together with the five original Glass colors (charcoal, cotton, shale, sky, and tangerine) these new frames and shade provide explorers with 40 different style combinations,” said the Google statement.
VSP president Jim McGrann said his firm provides cover to 64 million customers