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Google Glass may not support prescription lenses at launch


March 11, 2013

Google reportedly hasn't yet figured out how to incorporate prescription lenses into its smart-glasses

Google reportedly hasn't yet figured out how to incorporate prescription lenses into its smart-glasses

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Update: Google announced on its Project Glass page (via Engadget) that Glass will indeed support prescriptions lenses "later this year." Google adds that it's "still perfecting the design" of prescription lenses with Glass, which likely explains the quote in the original article below.

If we’re to believe the stereotypes, nerds and glasses go hand in hand. Hollywood teaches us that a pair of specs is all it takes to transform a stunning actor or actress into an awkward wallflower, or a mighty superhero into a clumsy dweeb. If there’s any truth to this cliché, then some of Google’s most tech-savvy customers may have to wait a bit longer than the general population to enjoy Google Glass.

According to CNET, Google has gone on record as saying that Glass isn’t quite ready for prescription lenses. Jay Nancarrow, Global Communications & Public Affairs Manager at Google, reportedly said that Google currently has no solution for the already-bespectacled:

    We’re preparing additional models that are designed to work for people who require prescription lenses [...] We haven’t released specific timelines for these, however.

Make sense?

So – at least at launch – the first significant pair of consumer smart glasses might not work as traditional glasses. Sounds like a missed opportunity, right?

Perhaps. But it might be a necessary – and temporary – tradeoff. Google’s biggest challenge with Glass is to cut down on the geek factor, and make it something “regular” customers will want to wear.

If that means prioritizing appearance over prescription lens compatibility, then so be it. In the meantime, the "nerds" just may have to switch to contact lenses (and perhaps transform into a Superman or prom king in the process).

Release date?

Google said that Glass will launch later in 2013 (Q4 sounds like a safe bet). Each pair is expected to retail for around US$1,300-1,400.

Source: CNET

About the Author
Will Shanklin Will Shanklin is Gizmag's Mobile Tech Editor, and has been part of the team since 2012. Before finding a home at Gizmag, he had stints at a number of other sites, including Android Central, Geek and the Huffington Post. Will has a Master's degree from U.C. Irvine and a Bachelor's from West Virginia University. He currently lives in New Mexico with his wife, Jessica. All articles by Will Shanklin

They need to at least come with clip on sunglasses, for those of us who live in sunny places.


But that does seriously impact on its use in surgery. How is this going to work with safety glasses?

David Choy

The taped center nose bridge was nothing compared to the enormous blind spot created by this.

Also forgetting the ability to provide for prescriptions is also “short sighted” pun intended.

Bob Flint
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