Google Glass opportunities

Google Glass opportunities

Optical practitioners have an opportunity to become specialists in Google Glass/smart glasses if they take a lead in offering a suitable prescription service.

That was the advice of Bob Forgan, joint managing director of Waterside Laboratories, the European supplier of Rochester Optical’s Smart frame and lens solution for Google Glass, who explained the company already had over 20 stockists to date in the UK.

He warned practitioners to be ready for demand from consumers and predicted that those who did the ground work would benefit when the price of Google Glass eventually came down as they would be seen as specialists.

‘Any optician could have someone walk through the door now with a Google Glass wanting you to glaze it. Our digitally surfaced design has an optimised viewing area that has done away with aberrations and distortions for viewing heads up display, even in a single-vision lens. It comes in a range from +8.00 to -12 and up to a 6 cyl, including a flat-top bifocal and progressive,’ he said. The Smart frame clip, with a cut-away section for eye tracking functionality, comes in eight shapes and 11 colours.

Forgan, who will be demonstrating the technology at Silmo, said he believed that the prescription optical side had not been considered in the product’s development phase and that the market was potentially huge. ‘It has all been plano and then half way down the road they realise the size of the prescription market. Everyone wants to know about Google Glass and it gives opticians something truly different in the market. There is a niche there for some specialists, although consumers will ideally want everything in the one place and there is a question of the route to market of Google Glass.’

He argued that optical practices were the ideal partners as the optics and fit of Google Glass would be important, emphasising that it was not a sensible online sale with measurements of PD and height needed for optimal use.