by John Nosta, Contributor
OK, I admit it. I’m a geek. And my glasses have been a badge of honor that I have worn all my life. And when Google GOOG +1.11% Glass became available, it was love at first sight. Well, almost. As a Google Glass Explorer, my first experience with Glass was fascinating, but awkward. My clunky glasses didn’t really match with the streamlined design of Glass and the result was a little bit like inviting a kid to a candy without the permission to indulge. But now there’s a exciting new option that aligns with the expected commercial launch of Glass–prescription Glass! And there’s no better place to show off the innovation than at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show. I’ve been wearing mine for 22 hours and 17 minutes and…well…I’ve found that illusive “love at first Google Glass sight.” What’s particular interesting to me is the ability to shift my field of vision from distance right to the Glass display. It’s an amazing experience that I couldn’t reproduce with contacts or my traditional glasses. Simply put, this represents step forward to Google Glass and the utility of HUD in our lives.
Glass certainly represents an important step forward in technology and connectivity. Prescription Glass lenses is another step in making HUD less of a novelty and more a mainstream accessory for everyone. Robert Scoble
Rochester Optical Manufacturing Company is the first optical company to offer proprietary digital lens designs specifically optimized for Google Glass wearers who require prescription lenses for visual acuity. As I have come to learn, it’s a bit more complicated than just putting stadard lenses into Glass. The nature of the HUD presents a problem–compounded by other issues including bifocal lenses.
The technical perspective on Google Glass: The location of the HUD on Google Glass, forces the wearer to gaze in an upward direction. Normal prescription lenses are not designed to optimize the visual acuity in those upper gaze directions, leading to a blurring of the display, and visual fatigue as the eye itself tries to compensate for the movement to a less clear viewing area. Rochester Optical scientists have created a new design where special care is taken to remove unwanted aberrations perceived by the wearer in the directions of sight associated with the HUD, giving the wearer a clear vision of the HUD, as well as the normal clear vision their lenses provide of the world around them. The design of the RO GOLD lenses is intended to enhance overall visual acuity and to reduce eye-strain and fatigue. “After many months of testing multiple lens designs as Glass Explorers ourselves, we could not be more pleased about making our GOLD lenses available to prescription glass wearers.” – Wendy Emerson, member of the Rochester Optical Glass Team TISI -2.65%
Rochester Optical Manufacturing Company is also offering a proprietary designed full frame carrier for the RO GOLD prescription lenses for Google Glass wearers. This patented new frame is called Glass Prescription Lens Carrier (GPLC), and resembles regular eyeglasses where prescription lenses are mounted to a structural chassis for rigidity. The full frame design allows a wide variety of prescription powers, lens designs, and lens materials to be fabricated and mounted securely to Google Glass. The full frame design allows wearers to fashion themselves with different frame shapes and multiple colors choices to suit their personal preference and style. “Style and fashion was one the primary deliverables for R&D as we were designing the GPLC’s; they had to look fashionable and offer a variety of frame styles and colors to fit the personality of the wearer.” – Tim Moore, member of the Rochester Optical Glass Team
Rochester Optical’s Glass Optimized Lens Designs (GOLD)® will be available in Digitally Surfaced Single Vision, Digitally Surfaced Straight Top 28 Bi-Focal, and Digitally Surfaced full back side Progressive lenses. These lens designs come in a standard plastic CR-39® material, a light weight impact resistant Trivex® material, and in thin and light High Index materials. These lenses will be available with options including Anti-reflective coatings, photochromic lenses such as Transitions® and with choices in Tints and Scratch Resistant coatings. Prices for RO GOLD digital single vision lenses starting at $99.00 with upgrades available for an additional cost. Rochester Optical’s Glass Prescription Lens Carriers (GPLC) are priced at $129 each. Rochester Optical’s RO GOLD lenses in conjunction with Rochester Optical’s proprietary Glass Prescription Lens Carrier (GPLC) will be available for ordering in late January, 2014, and will begin shipping in early February, 2014.
OK, it’s now been 23 hours and 14 minutes. My vision–near and far–is perfect and my HUD lets me know that it’s time to get read for my talk at CES. Yes, it’s shameless promotion, but if you’d like to hear me, Robert Scoble andDaniel Kraft (all Google Glass Explorers) talk about “Quantifying the Quantified Self”, come by on Tuesday afternoon and you can even get a chance to see one of the very first pairs of prescription Google Glass at work!