Tuesday on Google Plus, Venture Glass announced new plans by Rochester Optical, reporting that the company will be producing custom prescription, fashion and sport lenses for Google Glass, available for purchase in early 2014. Does that mean Google's tech wear will arrive before the end of Q2 2014? Not necessarily, but here's hoping for sooner rather than later.
The news arrives after Google revealed that a new version has been offered to the more than 10,000 Explorer wearers, with tens of thousands more expected to be distributed before the end of the year. In the coming weeks, up to three friends of each Explorer wearer will be able to purchase the new model. The way Google sees it, more Explorers means more feedback, and more feedback means better Glass. We got it.
"We've been making the hardware better, too," a company rep said on Google Plus. "We want to say 'thank you' for all the amazing feedback we've been getting, so later this year, all Explorers will have a one-time option to swap out their existing Glass for a new one. This hardware update will allow your Glass to work with future lines of shades and prescription frames, and we'll also include a mono earbud."
The long-awaited prescription-friendly models will reportedly be thrown into the new batch for those who would rather not wear contacts with the tech wear. According to Google, the hardware update will allow Glass to work with "future lines" of shades and prescription frames, presumably whatever Venture Glass plans to release in early 2014. Explorer wearers who purchased the first-generation model prior to October 28 can swap the device out for the upgraded hardware, the company indicates, without additional cost.
"Once the program is open, you'll have 60 days to register for your exchange," reads Google's FAQ. "You are entitled to keep your original device subject to the warranty terms you agreed to at the time of your original purchase. Your warranty will expire 1 year after your original purchase date."
Will Google Glass still cost $1500 when the device finally goes retail? That's what Explorer wearers are paying now, but there's a good chance Google will bring the price point down to make it more consumer friendly. The new model allows users to connect an ear bud; there may even be a new camera. Unfortunately, Google hasn't really detailed the changes, and probably won't say a word until the final version is released.