Google took a big step towards making its Google Glass specs available to the wider public after it expanded pre-orders for the technology, and showed off its potential in a new video. Now, an interesting report from the New York Times claims that the company is aiming to give the product the right look for the public through a tie-in with Warby Parker.
The Times cites unnamed sources that claim Google is negotiating with the eyewear maker — which raised a $38 million Series B round in September 2012 — “to help it design more fashionable frames”.
F**k it, we'll do it live!
Our biggest ever edition of TNW Conference is fast approaching! Join 10,000 tech leaders this May in Amsterdam.
Given that some tech firms have a tendency to overly focus on the technology behind a device or its feature, rather than its aesthetics — which are hugely important to potential buyers — the apparent move to bring in an external specialist is clearly a logical one. Google has faced criticism over claims that, while great on paper and every nerd’s fantasy, Google Glass is not practical or necessary for real life.
Indeed, the fact that Google co-founder Sergey Brin can sport the specs on the New York subway without being hassled by the regular public, suggests that either people aren’t overly aware of the technology, or that it is seen a being overly dorky and not for the everyday person.
While Google and Warby Parker both declined to comment on the speculation, the idea that a fashion-conscious consultant will add the requisite stylistic polish to Google Glass is most definitely a positive sign. Even if a deal is not reached, it shows that Google understands that Glass needs to be fashionable since it will be on a user’s face whenever it used.
Google’s always had an eye toward aesthetics, even if it sometimes goes astray. Undoubtedly it employs designers for its hardware, but this is an indication that it recognizes that Google Glass is importantly for both tech and fashion reasons, and therefore it needs the extra style.
It’s quite a day for Google speculation, and earlier the Wall Street Journal reported that the first touch screen Google laptop devices using its Chrome OS could launch before the end of the year.
By coincidence, TNW was at a media event held by Warby Parker this week: Inside Warby Parker: Co-CEO Neil Blumenthal talks transforming the optical industry and doing good
Headline image via Google