Project Glass prototype spotted with prescription lenses

One of the biggest questions posed to Google when it revealed Project Glass was “what about those of us who wear prescription eyewear?” Google quickly quelled fears as it confirmed the company would look to accommodate those of us who already wear glasses, though no word on how, exactly, that would happen could be had out of the Mountain View camp.

Well, it looks like Google is at least tailoring the technology to a few select testers as one was spotted wearing the contraption on a subway trek in New York City with corrective lenses in tow. The design looks very similar to what we’ve seen on the faces of Sergey Brin and friends, except with two pieces of glass hanging out front.

While it’s too early to tell what Google’s thinking about doing (we’re said to be at least another full year out from seeing these in consumer-ready form) it suggests the company could look to take custom orders for those who need shades or corrective lenses. Another possibility could be that Google will ship the product with optional mounts for lenses that can be fulfilled at popular stores at the users’ discretion.

Just a couple of days ago we pondered whether or not Google would go the fashionable route with Project Glass. Chris Chavez predicted Google would announce a partnership with premium framers Ray-Ban to bring a tad more fashion to this geeky-looking tech toy. We want it to happen, and it certainly still could happen, but for the time being the prototypes are still being made with the original design in mind.

One implementation we were big fans of was a way to detach the screen/camera overlay from the base frame and mount it onto existing lenses and frames, but this solution might not be the best route for Google. If the company can’t ensure the mount will fit correctly on any and all frames (the positioning of the screen is the biggest issue) then that is something that should be avoided.

Google knows the road to getting this product into the hands of eager consumers is long, and will be hard. Spokesperson Barbak Parviz alluded to as much, saying that the hopes are to have the final version of the product in retail at some point in 2014.

With any luck Google will be right on schedule, and can finally deliver the prototypes which developers paid $1,500 to own back at Google I/O (we plopped money down for three of them) at some point this year. Should that happen, Parviz expects developers to have access to the software and features that will be close to the end product. We’ll have to wait and see what’s in store, but we’ve been following this ambitious journey every step of the way and will continue to do so all throughout 2013.

[Electronista, RoadtoVR]

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  • Thomas

    Is anybody actually interested in these ?

    • Tomáš Petrík

      Yup!

    • Mitchmoney

      I AM!!!!!!! Thats what everyone said when the first smartphones came out in 07-08

      • Aslan Bollin

        That’s interesting since I got my first smartphone back in ’04.That’s where my love for HTC first began.

        Contrary to popular misbelief, Apple did not invent the smartphone when it released the iPhone in 07. ;)

      • NIGHTSCOUT

        I owned a Palm Treo 700 in 2006, and it was not the first model. It was a touchscreen smartphone.

    • Chimphappyhour

      I can’t tell if you’re kidding or if you’re just new on the planet?

      • Thomas

        Was totally serious, we phone nerds can for sure score w/ the ladies if we are wearing these things.

        • ramses11.rea

          The battery life probably wouldn’t allow you to use it constantly or too long so you wouldn’t have it on your head constantly

        • Aslan Bollin

          yes, because if someone loves technology that automatically means they have no idea how to carry themselves around the opposite sex….. o_O?

          • Thomas

            Was a total joke bro, not what I meant. I’m a tech geek myself. Sorry for the confusion.

          • Aslan Bollin

            ahhh, gotcha. some things just doent translate well in online text. ;)

          • ari_free

            Yes, if you love japanese fem bots.

    • NIGHTSCOUT

      Yes.

  • Mitchmoney

    If this becomes a reality and as good as it showed on the Youtube video, This WILL BE the invention of the century!

    • TheScientists

      I’d give that title to self-driving cars, not smartphone-glasses.

      • ramses11.rea

        Didn’t Google also make a self driving car and make a YouTube video of it?

        • TheScientists

          Yep, they’ve been developing them for years. SDC’s are now street legal in CA, NV and FL (thanks to lobbying from Google).

          http://www.theverge.com/2012/12/14/3766218/self-driving-cars-google-volvo-law

          SDC’s would be the unquestionable invention of the century (unless some scientists come up with a cancer-erasing implant or something). This is something that would truly change the world, and it’s likely to be a reality within the next 30 years or so. Think about it….massive time and $$ savings due to many factors….no more grid lock due to traffic accidents, no more deaths from traffic accidents (theoretically), no more drunk drivers, millions of people given their independence back (elderly, disabled, blind, etc), billions gained in productivity (most people waste a large part of their lives sitting unproductively in cars). All the tech to do this is here today – it’s going to be the legal issues that hold it back for another 20 or 30 years.

          • ramses11.rea

            Same as the person who got arrested for using a segway in the UK

      • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

        I’d give it to Singularity AI at mid-century, not just a self-driving car AI application, though it’ll be nice having a grid of self-driving taxis available at the drop of the hat for the few years it still makes sense moving meatbags from point A to B (vs patterns of mind)

        • TheScientists

          Yeah I didn’t give it to the singularity, because of the big IF that comes with that. If it were a reality, and if it were used only for the benefit of mankind, then I would agree with you. We won’t have answers to those if’s for a long time.

          SDC’s are here today, and will eventually become commonplace.

  • ArmageddonX

    I would buy a pair =)

  • ramses11.rea

    If it had mind control so I could, for example tweet without saying my tweet out loud like a maniac, that would be awesome

    • Chimphappyhour

      Ha ha ha! This is so funny because I almost said something out loud for a voice to text response to a friend yesterday that could have caused some trouble. They were asking about a shipment and I was about to say something like “Yeah, they’re really packed tight.” At the moment, I was walking behind two women in tight fitting jeans. Caught myself before I got slapped but realized I need to be careful about that in public.

      • ramses11.rea

        Ha ha

      • Ken Bosse

        Thats when you would use the glasses to snap a pic! ha

  • delesh

    It looks like it might just be the normal headset worn together with normal glasses and not a special version with lenses attached.

  • ramses11.rea

    I hope they are water resistant at least…

  • Lennatron

    I hope they know how to keep them in stock…

  • http://www.facebook.com/SirRipo Josh Lewis

    I really hope that they don’t partner with ONLY a big name like Ray Ban….not all of us have health insurance that covers fancy expensive frames. Anyone ever looked at the cost of a pair of Raybans? The cheapest frames start coming in at $100, and lenses can get pretty outrageous.

    I think they really should offer just the glass portion on it’s own, or have a “standard” package, that contains the basic frame (as seen worn by Brin and other Googlers), with the Glass unit as a separate piece that attaches to the frame. A “universal” approach would also probably bring better sales, as I’m sure a significant portion of their target audience already wears glasses, and would balk at the idea of having to buy an expensive set of Ray Ban (or other name brand) glasses just to get the gadget.

    • ramses11.rea

      I think it will be lots of options like the normal ones like Sergey and Googlers were using) and clip on extendable ones for people with prescription glasses. I think the Ray Ban was a rumor

    • RobWild

      Google Luxottica.. Largest Eyeglass company in the world. It’s really difficult to say no to them. Oakley tried for years. Odds are pretty good one of their brands would love to be part of this project. ;)

      • Chimphappyhour

        Yes, I was quite sad to see Oakley get snatched up by them. You could definitely see a difference in design aesthetics after that happened. :(

      • http://www.facebook.com/SirRipo Josh Lewis

        I’m not saying that going with a name brand is necessarily a bad idea, or that I don’t want them to partner – I just don’t want it to be a situation where you have to buy the expensive name brand glasses just to get the Glass experience. I mean, unless Google figures out a way to lower costs dramatically (assuming the $1500 price tag they threw out at I/O is any indication of street pricing) to be less than or on par with unlocked handsets ($500-$600 range) for the Glass device itself – not counting frames/lenses, I don’t see sales being that great. Making it an exclusive to Expensive Name Brand X is definitely not going to help reduce costs or increase sales.

        • RobWild

          I agree with that. These will not be cheap, even if the big boys pick them up. I just don’t see the numbers panning out. The funny thing is for me anyway, I am not really “into” what these can do other than sharing what I see with others. What a boring film that would be. lol Maybe there is more to it but I see Opti Grab all over this.

    • https://sites.google.com/site/barry99705/ barry99705

      My no prescription(20/13 woo) sun glasses cost $130. I know where you’re coming from though. Before my wife got her new eyes(lasik really is worth the couple weeks of crap) her glasses were in the $300 range because of the lenses.

  • yankeesrule587

    Suprised no one else mentioned this. Is that supposed to be a picture of the person theyre referring to, the subway trekker ? Funny how it doesnt look like hes on a subway, but in a building somewhere and the picture was shot through a window.

    • a.d.AM

      It actually looks like he is sitting at a table and someone snapped a pic of a mirror. I think we are looking at his reflection. If I had to guess i would say this is some nerd who made that himself and now he is walking around acting like he got a pair of Google Glass.

      • yankeesrule587

        lol i wouldnt be surprised

  • Brian S.

    Preorder-ers did not have to pay $1,500 dollars when they preordered, they promised to pay $1,500 for them when they were made available.

    Can’t wait for these though.

  • http://twitter.com/AtheistReverend TheAtheistReverend

    (One of?) the founders of this project is quoted as saying he is looking into the possibility of contact lenses with display and connectivity capabilities. I would say THAT will be the invention of the century. Unless of course, within the century (quite possible if we don’t blow ourselves up) we are doing implants, eye or brain, that do more. OK, My mind is officially blown.