Rochester Optical commits to making custom prescription lenses for Google Glass

UPDATE: We’ve just heard directly from Google who have stated the following:

“According to Google there is no relationship between Google Glass and Rochester optics.”

The company may be independently working on a Glass prescription solution, but if they are (contrary to what the press release insinuates), it has no official support from Google.


One of the biggest questions many people had when Google announced Glass was regarding those who wear prescription eyewear. Surely, Google wouldn’t leave out those who need some corrective lenses, right? Google thankfully quelled fears early on, noting that they were already working on prototype Glass units that could be outfitted with prescription lenses.

The first of those early prototypes will come in the form of a new hardware revision that Google will be issuing to existing Glass Explorer users and all the new ones that will come as a result of newly-issued invites. That revision will also include an external earbud for those who don’t think the bone-conduction method works well enough.

google glass lenses

That’s not the news today, though. Today, we learn about one of the first optical providers who will officially provide prescription lenses that can be cut to fit Google Glass. The company is Rochester Optical, a Rochester, NY based firm with what sounds like a pretty impressive track record in the eyewear industry.

Rochester Optical is an innovative manufacturer and distributor of high quality digital lenses, eyewear and eyeglasses. Founded in 1932, the Rochester, NY based company serves optical professionals, military and government agencies, and other companies with fashion, performance and safety eyewear. Its full service optical lab provides a wide variety of services, including in-house digital lenses, its own state-of-the-art A/R coating lab, and specialty glass fabrication.

Tim Moore, the company’s new marketing strategist, made the news public on his Google+ account. Prescription lenses aren’t the only things you’ll be able to get from Rochester Optical, though — they’ve also committed to lenses and shades for fashion and sportswear.

It sounds like it’ll be a while yet before more mainstream providers (such as Lenscrafters) jump in on the fun, but it’s good to know that Google has the early backing of quality optical firms like this one. Will you be looking their way for Glass lenses once the device is available early next year?

PS: don’t forget you still have a couple of chances to win an invite from Phandroid to buy your own Google Glass unit in our Great American Glass contest! The latest contest post has all the details on how you could win one of the remaining invites, so be sure to read it and stay on your P’s and Q’s to increase your chances.

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  • Chimphappyhour

    Very good news for Rochester. Great little town. Shame that Kodak did themselves in.

    • Phaz0n

      It’s not so little. Rochester is New York’s third most populous city after New York City and Buffalo.

      • Chimphappyhour

        That’s nice. Still far smaller than what I’m used to.

        • Phaz0n

          I was born there so I had to say something. Cheers!

          • Chimphappyhour

            I’m not knocking it by any means. It really is a great little town. LOTS of good places to have a beer. Still a lot of major photo resources in the are tied to Kodak, the GEH and the school there. It is very easy to get around there.

          • h4rr4r

            The school? There are several universities in the area.

            We need a Tahoes in buffalo.

    • bigbk

      I live here too great to see this happening here. Now if sprint could just get there S*** together with lte here

    • shmigga

      Rochester…always wishing it was the second biggest city in NYS.

  • h4rr4r

    Contacts are compatible with all versions of this product. They also come with a free bonus! Peripheral Vision!

    • http://www.phandroid.com Quentyn Kennemer

      Some people can’t wear contacts, and some don’t prefer them. Personally, I’m a much bigger fan of frames, and for a couple of different reasons:

      - Little maintenance (although contacts maintenance has gotten better over the years)

      - It can be fashionable, and a personal expression sort of thing

      • h4rr4r

        What maintenance?
        You toss them out each month or even each day if you want.

        Glasses are fashionable? Hipster like typing detected.

        • http://www.phandroid.com Quentyn Kennemer

          Far from a hipster. Like I said, some people have their preferences. Just accept that, and do what works best for you.

        • JointhePredacons

          Not only hipsters wear glasses, and yes, glasses are quite fashionable, depending on the person. I wont wear contacts because im not putting something in my eye, just a phobia i suppose. Ill get contacts when theyre a real lens surgically to replace the existing messed up lens, or if its tech on a lens, like Google Glass on a contact lens, that would be cool. But you would have to put me under, lol.

  • Timothy Robinson

    I live in Rochester and am so happy to see this news.

  • hemipw54

    Google’s gaudy bluetooth devices are out for me.
    Cyborg I am not.

  • JointhePredacons

    Id rather get an attachment i can clip onto my existing glasses.

    • thedicemaster

      same here.
      i’m a little worried about glass-bashers and facilities that ban cameras and gglass.

    • wright585

      they should just replace one of our eyes with a Google eye

      • JointhePredacons

        Hey id go for that. lol.

  • wright585

    glad to see my hometown supporting Google products and vice versa

  • jhawkkw

    Awesome for Rochester, we need something bright after all since the city has decayed so much.

  • steveb944

    I guess I have no choice for shades. So much for fitting it into my Oakley