Picture a rendition of Johnny Nash's song "I Can See Clearly Now" playing in the background as Google Explorers stand on mountaintops in Yellowstone National Park or overlook the Machu Picchu trail in Peru. The words describe a long, hard climb for Google that just may pay off by the end of this year.
"I can see clearly now, the
rain is gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It's gonna be a bright, bright, bright
Google has struck a deal with optical health insurance VSP to subsidize prescription frames for Google Glass -- one of the most requested improvements to the wearable tech, per reports. Grab a pair of eyeglasses or sunglasses whenever needed and always have Glass by your side.
Several different frames will add about $225 to the original $1,500 price tag for the wearable tech. Other options include $150 for tinted shades. Google expects that the Glass Titanium collection of frames, along with Glass, will become available beyond the Explore program in late 2014. A Web site provides images of the glass styles.
Steve Lee, Glass product director, told CNet the styles are based on existing popular trends in eye care, and the sunglasses are made by Maui Jim.
Wearable tech units will increase from 100 million shipments in 2013 to 220 million in 2018, according to Shane Walker, analyst at IHS. A white paper from the research firm explains how Google Glass holds promise for improved health care.
There are 200 trained optometrists to fit Google Glass with new prescriptions in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, but Google has plans to add other cities and up to 6,000 doctors by the end of the year. Glass can hold up to either a +4 or -4 corrective lenses, and they can also be bought with clear non-corrective lenses.
Isabelle Olsson led the design team for the frames. The product road map will offer two new styles of clip-on sunglasses for $150 each. The color, frame and shade choices will offer 40 style variations for Glass, per reports.