Google wants to de-geek its glasses, says report

The company is asking eyeglass maker Warby Parker to create a more stylish look for its high-tech Glass spectacles, according to The New York Times.

Google's high-tech glasses could use a bit more style.
Google's high-tech glasses could use a bit more style. Google

Those of you who think Google Glass eyewear looks a bit geeky may be in store for a more fashionable approach.

Google is chatting with eyeglass maker Warby Parker to bring a touch of style to Glass, The New York Times said today, citing its sources as "two people briefed on the negotiations."

Neither Google nor Warby Parker would comment on the reported talks to the Times. Google also told CNET that it had nothing to share. CNET contacted Warby Parker for comment and will update the story if we receive any information.

A startup company that's managed to raise a lot of cash , Warby Parker is known for its trendy but high-quality eyewear. Google glasses may be high-quality but they're not exactly trendy.

The frames themselves look a bit odd without actual lenses. And the viewer through which the user sees virtual information still resembles something found on a Borg drone.

Some people who have worn Google glasses in public have received odd reactions, marked by one instance of a sarcastic bartender in high-tech San Francisco, according to the Atlantic.

The challenge now is for Google to make the glasses fashion-friendly and less an object of ridicule in public.

The goal is to sell Google Glass to mainstream folks , not just techies. As one example noted by the Times, Google has been playing around with adding sunglasses and prescription lenses to the frames.

Google's Glass designers have also been striving to add more style on their own, the Times added. The glasses first came in black but now come in other colors. They're also much lighter, while the high-tech hardware has gotten smaller.

To drum up more interest in Glass, Google has launched a contest asking "bold, creative individuals" to become Google Glass explorers. Participants have to fill out an application explaining what they would do if they had the glasses. Winners will then be invited to preorder a Glass Explorer Edition, though it'll cost them the full $1,500.

And the cost is another challenge faced by Google. The average person who shells out a few hundred dollars for a smartphone or tablet may balk at a price tag of $1,500, even for high-tech eyewear. But Google has said the glasses will cost less than the prototype when they officially hit the market next year.

Updated 12:45 p.m. PT with response from Google.

 

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