The future is here for the visually impaired. Google announced today that glasses wearers can finally use the $1,500 face computer by clipping them on to specially made prescription lenses with frames created by the company.
Although Glass hasn’t publicly launched yet, Google is selling the frames to Explorers on its website. They cost an extra $225 and come in four BlackBerry-approved titles, including Bold, Curve, Thin and Split. There are also two tinted lens types, but it doesn’t appear Transitions is included.
Morin needs a Mophie Path founder Dave Morin, he of Gosling Parker Economically conscious walking Internet meme Ryan Gosling was recently spotted looking dashing in his Warby Parker frames. The company humble-bragged about the royal sighting on its Facebook page earlier this week noting that the frame is the “Preston.” We share their exuberance. This is one piece Read More
The “pre-launch” page for new startup called Harry’s features a handsome image of a razor emblazoned with an “H” logo and the slogan, “RESPECTING THE FACE AND WALLET. SINCE LIKE…RIGHT NOW.” Sign up to learn more and you’ll be directed to what looks like a package deal on shaving supplies, including the historically-themed “Truman Handle” and the “Winston Shave Set” How mid-century! But why not just label it the Don Draper special?
According to a source, Harry’s is actually tied up with the marketing experts at Warby Parker. Jen Rubio, head of social media at the eyeglass retailer, shared the site on her Facebook page with the message, “Remember in 2010 when I said Warby Parker was going to be big? This is kinda like that.”
Your Name Here A Silicon Valley source had the pleasure of dining near Path cofounder Dave Morin and his wife, Brit.co founder Brit Morin recently. Mr. Morin spoke about the future of Path while Ms. Morin, a DIY enthusiast, used crayons provide by the restaurant to doodle on the paper table cloth, said the source. There were rainbows, flowers and balloons, but our favorite was a drawing of the Brit.co logo, with “Morin” written underneath and an arrow pointed towards Ms. Morin (just in case the restaurant staff didn’t recognize her). That’s one way to disrupt advertising, we suppose. Our tipster was kind enough to snap a pic on their way out.
Happy Internet, Mr. President Twice this week in conversation with tech types, Betabeat was asked when Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian was running for office already. The 29-year-old credited with helping to defeat SOPA/PIPA already toured the country (in a bus once leased for John McCain’s “Straight Talk Express”) running for president of the Internet. But with Sheryl Sandberg hot on his heels, isn’t it time to start campaigning for the real thing?
Google Glass certainly isn’t lacking in the whiz-bang factor. The gadget was publicly introduced with a skydiving stunt; just yesterday, the company released a video from the point of view of a user, demonstrating how seamlessly the spectacles can capture your exciting life of hot-air ballooning and snake charming.
But now comes the hard part: Getting normals to want the damn things. Unlike many software developers and/or Betabeat reporters, most of America isn’t likely to be sold on the pitch that hey, it’s just like what Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge wore on Star Trek TNG!
Hence, step one is to make the things a little sleeker. The New York Times reports today that sources say, as part of a stab at style, Google is currently in negotiations with Warby Parker to get some design help with the project. If the company plans to start selling Glass to the wider world later this year, such a partnership would come not a moment too soon.
Making passes at girls in glasses Can hip glasses startup Warby Parker make a love connection? One Warby Parker employee who helped a man pick out his glasses seems to have also run away with his heart. The dude did what all millennials do when they see an attractive girl, and posted a Missed Connection about her on Craigslist:
Rose-Colored Glasses Warby Parker just released its annual report for 2012, and it’s a pretty fun slideshow to click through. The glasses empire now has 113 full-time employes and 42 part-time employees. Of those bespectacled folks, 108 have company-sponsored gym memberships. In other Warby Parker health news, 2,507 pounds of salad were eaten in the office this year. Although there are not too many exact sales figures in the package (besides the fact that 296 monocles were sold this year) a diagram on the last page shows that sales from the first quarter of the year to the last one have nearly tripled. Warby Parker says it gave out 250,000 pairs of glasses this year, some of which went to victims of Hurricane Sandy.
It's a Zuck Zuck Zuck Zuck World
Non Hustlers Need Not Apply Lerer Ventures is looking to hire a new analyst. The job requires one or two years of experience at a venture backed startup or major tech company. You have to also be “a sweet and cool person,” so no mean losers need apply. According to the listing, they’re looking for “A hustler and/or hacker who works smart.” We’re sending this to Cassidy right away.
Playing Hooky Not Cool On Friday, AT&T and NYC Digital will kickoff a hackathon designed to help Mayor Bloomberg’s Truancy Task Force. Designers and coders will be given the challenge to create a mobile app to keep kids in school. The first prize is pretty sweet and includes $2,500 in Gift Cards for the team to split, a $5,000 donation from AT&T to the team’s choice of non-profit organizations, and one year of the ”Small” service from Github for each team member. No word on whether college dropouts are allowed to compete.
Disrupting Your Face
Remember when Facebook was a world-changing social network–uniting families, friends, and that girl who moved away in the third grade across space and time? And then remember when Facebook was a punchline, trying to get you to pay real money for the virtual equivalent of the flair buttons on a TGIFriday’s vest?
Well, now, Facebook is also partly an e-commerce play–like say Amazon or Pets.com. Today, the company began launching a new segment called Gifts, which allows users to buy and send real-world items, tied to the life events you post on Facebook. It’s a gentle reminder that when free consumer web startups say, “Don’t worry about monetization, we’ll find a magical third way later,” what they mean is: “Let us pretend just a little while longer, please.”
All that company-subsidized beer pong must be inspiring. Warby Parker*, the online glasses retailer, has decided to expand its marketing efforts to the small screen. Rather than just promote their $95 try-at-home model on the web or through cool kid pop-up stores and kiosks in Standard hotels, the company is investing $250,000–a small fraction of its $50.3 millon in VC funding–in a small-scale, highly-targeted TV ad strategy.
The New York Times reports that the company is saving money by sending the ad, featuring anthropomorphized eyeballs riding on unicycles, to its (very) particular target market: