Google Glass will begin selling to the general public late this year, and it’ll do so with four new frames and two new sunglass shades that make the device look a lot more mainstream.
Google announced the “Titanium Collection” overnight — a set of traditional frames that are ready for prescription lenses, or can be bought by Explorers that “just want a new look.”
Just like other Glass accessories, the new frames are spendy: $225 each for the frames and $150 for the sunglass shades. They’re all available for purchase now in the Explorers-only Glass accessory store.
In announcing the new frames and shades, Google also updated the official Glass FAQ to reveal that the device will begin selling to the public before the end of the year:
Q. When will Glass be available to the wider public?
A. Starting last fall, we’ve been slowly expanding the Explorer program and we’ll continue to do that until our consumer launch towards the end of 2014.
The new frames are an important move for Google. Numerous surveys have shown that a significant number of consumers are turned off by the base design of Glass, with its wraparound frame and the display prism that sits above the right eye. For example, a UK survey earlier this month showed that 68 percent would be too embarrassed to wear Glass in public.
The new frames, although ready for prescription wearers, may also appeal to some of that crowd — the folks that are embarrassed by the current design. Just as Glass itself is expected to sell for less than the Explorer price of $1500, Google would be wise to improve the appeal of the frames and other accessories by lowering their prices, too, for the consumer launch.