Google Glass now available with designer frames, prescription lenses

Glass now works with corrective lenses and $225 titanium frames.

Google Glass is now compatible with prescription lenses thanks to a set of four titanium frames designed to carry the company's Internet-enabled wearable computer.

The Titanium Collection is made up of "four feather-light titanium frames," according to a post on the official Google+ account for Glass.

The frames cost US$225 on top of to the $1,500 cost of the Google Glass Explorer version, which gives early adopters the chance to own the headset, Vision insurance policies with companies such as VSP Global may help cover the cost of the frames, the company said. Two new models of sunglasses cost an additional $150.

"This marks the next phase in the evolution of Glass as we move towards a wider consumer launch later in 2014," Google said on its Glass FAQ page.

"We started with five colors and an overall design that could fit a wide range of Explorers, their lifestyles and interests. Today, we're expanding our offering to a new group of Explorers, those who wear prescription glasses and enjoy sunglasses. The four new Glass frames and three shades will give even more people the opportunity to make Glass their own."

The Titanium Collection consists of Split, Thin, Bold, and Curve styles. The frames reflect popular eyewear styles and can accommodate both prescription lenses and, via a small screw, the Glass hardware itself, a prism-like display that's linked to a touchpad on the frame and a camera that can record 720p HD video.

Google also added two shades to its Glass lineup. In addition to the original cyberpunk-styled Active twist-on shade, Google is now offering the Classic and the Edge. If you like your sunglasses large and definitely 1980s, they'll go well with big hair and retro aerobics duds.

Along with its original configurations and colors, the latest additions mean Glass owners can choose from 40 combinations of frames, colors, and shades.

Glass can perform hands-free functions like voice searches of the Internet, providing directions, displaying email and linking to smartphones via Bluetooth for calls and messages.

The Internet giant plans to release Glass to the wider public towards the end of 2014, according to the FAQ page.

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Tim Hornyak

IDG News Service
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