Google Glass Users to Get Optical Insurance Coverage Through VSP
The move by VSP to partner with Google Glass makes perfect sense for the long-term mission of VSP, Jim McGrann, president of VSP Vision Care, said in a statement. "Google Glass is the kind of cutting-edge technology that VSP Vision Care is always looking to bring to VSP eyecare providers and 60 million VSP members. As a not-for-profit, our partnership with Google helps fulfill our mission to help people see by connecting high-quality eyecare services through VSP doctors while delivering relevant products to meet the eyecare needs of VSP members." Dr. Matthew Alpert, O.D., chairman of optometric innovation for VSP Global, in a statement called Glass "one of the most exciting optical-related technologies brought to consumers in the last decade. Glass clearly has many potential benefits for the profession of optometry and the 60 million patients VSP Vision Care serves. The partnership between VSP and Google will ensure consumers receive both the best technological experience and the best prescription eyewear and financial benefit, from the respective leaders in technology and eyecare." Since the first Glass devices began shipping to Explorers in April 2013, some users had already been modifying their Glass units to work with prescription lenses, based on reports from users on social media sites and other sources. Google Glass has been a topic of conversation among techies since news of the futuristic devices first surfaced in 2012 at the Google I/O developer's conference. Developers at the show were offered the chance to buy early Explorer versions of Glass for $1,500 for testing and development. Glass was the hit of the conference.In October 2013, Google began a Glass program that allowed existing users to invite up to three friends to buy their own eyewear-mounted computers now, before they go on sale to the general public sometime later this year. The invite-a-friend program was viewed by Google as a way to expand its Glass Explorer Program. Existing early Glass users also received a one-time chance to trade in their current Glass devices for the latest model, which includes improvements and updates. Each Google Glass device includes adjustable nose pads and a high-resolution display that Google said is the equivalent of a 25-inch high-definition screen from 8 feet away. The glasses also feature a built-in camera that takes 5-megapixel photos and video at 720p. Audio is delivered to wearers through their bones, using bone-conduction transducers.
In November 2013, Google offered a sneak peek at its Glass Development Kit (GDK) for developers to gain even broader control and innovation in their next designs and features for Google Glass apps. The GDK is an add-on to the Android Software Developers Kit that lets developers build Glass apps, called Glassware, that run directly on Glass.