Google Glass certainly is an impressive product, at least in terms of the technology and functionality packed into a pair of glasses. Of course, what Google Glass certainly isn’t, at least in its current form, is stylish. And while being technically impressive is enough to get enthusiasts interested (even at $1,500 per pair), the general public is generally more hesitant to wear a heads-up display that looks like it could be a more modern version of a 2004 Hasbro product.
Of course, Google has been very clear in stating that Google Glass is still a beta product, and that the version that will hopefully be released to consumers sometime soon is going to be different from the current version. We don’t know exactly how different, but now, thanks to a patent granted to Google just last week, we have an idea of what the improved Google Glass may look like.
As you can see in the above image from the patent filing, the new design is much more streamlined than the current version, and almost passes as a normal pair of glasses. Granted, the temple on either side is a bit thicker than usual, but compared to the current very obvious design, it looks like quite an improvement.
The first question I have about this design concerns what kind of lenses people who don’t normally wear glasses will get. It seems reasonable to expect prescription lenses to be available, but those who don’t need them may be stuck with clear lenses in this design. The right lens will apparently be used for the projection, and so a left lens would presumably be needed to maintain symmetry. Darkened lenses could work in certain scenarios, but I don’t know how that would effect the way the Glass interface is displayed.
In short, there are still many questions to be answered about what Google Glass will look like if and when it becomes a consumer product, many of which concern more important things than the aesthetics of the product. Even so, it is nice to get a look at what the consumer version of Glass could look like, and it is good to see the design made somewhat more mainstream.
From the popularity of the Moto 360, it seems reasonable to think that while consumers may want the latest technology, they want it to look good as well. Google Glass may not be all the way there yet, but the newly patented design certainly seems to be a step in the right direction.[USPTO via CNET]