At the moment, it's not hard to spot someone wearing Google Glass—the bulky white frames and lack of lenses are a dead giveaway. And while there's an argument to be made for rocking a status symbol like Glass, sometimes a hardcore geek just wants to read his emails without the entire Muni bus judging him.
Well, good news for Mr. Glasshole: We got our hands on a sneak peak of the new frames, and they look much more like a regular pair of glasses, and much less like something out of Star Trek. The move represents a major step in winning consumers over to wearable tech. If you are going to wear it, after all, it has to look decent. The new version of Glass also represents a pivot for Google from the earliest of adaptors—those who were more than willing to hack Glass onto different frames—to a second, broader audience. At some point it's better to sell to the homesteaders than to Lewis and Clark.
Google has designed four styles of frames that look like everyday pairs of glasses. They are made of lightweight titanium and come in 40 color combinations. The Glass device itself remains priced at $1,500 (though that price is expected to come down soon), while the frames themselves will retail for $225. Google will also offer two new styles of clip-on sunglasses. (Though rumors had swirled before the announcement that Google would partner with eyeglass company Warby Parker, the collection has been made in house.)
Google also announced today that insurer VSP would cover the frames, with an average reimbursement to consumers of around $120, plus the cost of the lenses. VSP will not be covering the cost of the Glass device itself. Google is hoping that optometrists will begin to stock the frames, and has created a training program to help them mount the frames correctly.