Google Glass Comes Into Sharper Focus for Brands After VSP Deal



How would your PR message look on someone’s sleeve? What about a wristwatch or a bracelet? Communicating your brand messages via wearable technology is one big step closer to the mainstream, following Google’s deal with VSP, the nation’s biggest optical health insurance provider.

On Tuesday Google said that VSP will offer subsidized frames and prescriptions for Google Glass, its computer-powered glasses.

Today Glass is only available to a few thousand individuals selected by Google as early testers. However, Google said Tuesday that it would launch the device for consumers by  the end of this year.

Offering prescription lenses for Google Glass means it should be available to many of the 110 million Americans that today wear prescription eyewear, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Google’s deal with VSP is just the latest example of a major technology company partnering with a fashion or healthcare company to enhance the appeal of wearable technology. Intel, for example, partnered with Opening Ceremony to make smart bracelets.

As it creeps into the mainstream, wearable technology will provide PR pros and communicators with a different type of marketing vehicle.

But communicators will have to craft their message according to the wearable technology. That may include considering which area of the body the device sits, what type of fabric is involved in the technology and how to properly integrate messages running on wearable technology with other media channels.

In any event, wearable technology is going to be a bigger part of the brand communications equation, and you can be sure that forward-looking PR agencies are on notice to start experimenting with strategies.

Chris Dale, head of communications and public affairs at Google Glass, will be the afternoon keynote speaker at PR News’ Digital PR Summit, which takes place Feb. 5 at the Westin San Francisco.

Follow Matthew Schwartz: @mpsjourno1


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About Matthew Schwartz

Group Editor, PR News: Matthew Schwartz is group editor of PR News, the leading source of trends, how-to content and best practices for PR professionals. Matthew leads the editorial strategy for PR News’ premium content products—including its weekly newsletter—and for its digital presence. Matthew was editor of PR News from 2003-2005. Prior to returning to PR News, Matthew was a reporter for Crain’s BtoB and Media Business magazines, where he covered business marketers and media companies. He was also editor of BMA Buzz, a biweekly email newsletter covering B2B marketing, advertising and social media, and contributing writer to Advertising Age Custom. Matthew has helped to launch blogs on behalf of ZoomInfo and direct marketing agency The Kern Organization. He also spent a few years in cable-news precincts, working as a writer/producer at CNN and Fox News Channel.

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