Rochester Optical, the company partnering with Google to supply prescription lenses for the Glass eyewearable device, has confirmed those lenses will be available "in just a few weeks." The news appeared on Rochester Optical's website, which then asks Glass adopters to weigh in with their individual requests for style, color and survey answers to some basic questions about how they use Glass.
Until prescription lenses for Glass are made available, users will continue to face the choice of wearing the device along with their prescription glasses, or opting for their naked eye. Neither approach is ideal for adopters with bad vision. Most glasses are too bulky to wear with Google Glass and adopters with astigmatism are finding it nearly impossible to use the device without good prescription lenses.
The display "prism" in Glass is not part of the lenses. The user can focus on images projected into the prism thanks to a beam splitter that tricks the eye into thinking the images appear at a much greater distance; otherwise it would not be possible to focus on a display that close to the eye. However, for users with astigmatism, the image will still appear blurry. By correcting for astigmatism in the lenses, Rochester Optical can help make Glass useful for a broader range of consumers.
Since the display is separate from the lenses, Google and Rochester Optical have unlimited options for providing lenses to consumers. Glass currently ships with a dark shades that fit into the frame almost like clip-on sunglasses. Now there will be many more options and Rochester Optical is asking Glass adopters to help define the offerings. In its survey, the company asks users to specify a color including shale, charcoal, cotton, tangerine, sky (all Glass colors) or purple, green, yellow or pink.
The survey also asks Glass adopters to specify the type of lenses. These include options such as tint, UV coating, anti-reflective coating, mirror coating, photochromic lenses like Transitions and polarized lenses for outdoor use. Rochester Optical even invites more creative Glass aficionados to render an image of the device with the style and color of lenses they prefer. While no date for the Rx lenses has been provided, it appears that Rochester Optical's involvement ensures the consumer launch of Glass will provide Rx options.