60 million people will get new Google Glass frames covered by insurance

One of the four new titanium frame styles for Google Glass.

It’s a big day for Google Glass.

The tech giant has announced a deal with VSP, the country’s largest optic health insurance provider to cover frames for Google Glass. The company also unveiled a new product line of frames hoping to tone down that tech-geek look that the current frameless headset has right now.

Forrester Research Vice President J.P. Gownder says it helps to team up with an outfit like VSP when you market something that looks like a Star Trek leftover.

“It really increases the credibility of Google Glass. Google Glass compatible lens will be sold probably at many opticians who carry VSP,” he says.

That’s some 30,000 opticians nationwide. VSP also ensures more than 60 million consumers, and in this new arrangement will give its patients about $120 off the price of frames.

The computer part of the glasses though will still run north of $1,000 dollars.

“It’s still a lot for something that I don’t think your average consumer will see as a necessity," says Carolina Milanesi with Kantar ComTech.

She says to succeed, Google Glass must overcome privacy concerns and simple strangeness. “In particular something that is maybe a little bit more intrusive, more in your face, excuse the pun,” she says.

Google hopes disguising the product with fashionable titanium steel eyewear will make it easier to ignore that minicomputer attached your head. 

About the author

Dan Gorenstein is the senior reporter for Marketplace’s Health Desk. You can follow him on Twitter @dmgorenstein.

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