Suddenly, Apple Is Losing Its Design Edge


Will geek soon be chic? According to The New York Times, Google is working on bringing its Glass wearable computer to Warby Parker's fashionable spectacles.

Initial designs of the Glass product, which is expected later this year, include a small computer and battery attached to the upper right frame. A Warby Parker model would presumably be sleek enough for the runway crowd.

For now, Google last week began accepting "applications" for those interested in the current prototype. Those chosen will pay $1,500 plus tax for the "Explorer" edition and attend a special event in either Los Angeles, New York, or San Francisco to pick up their specs.

Interestingly, the talk of a tie-up with Warby Parker comes just as Google showed off a more refined design sense in its latest Chromebook. Dubbed "Pixel," the polished aluminum computer is suspiciously reminiscent of the MacBook Air. A high-resolution touchscreen adds to the premium feel of the device.

Google under Larry Page has become as design-obsessed as Apple was under Steve Jobs, which brings us back to Warby Parker.

How is it that Apple didn't ink a deal? We've known since last summer that iEmpire is pursuing a patent for interactive eyewear. Surely the same team that's toying with an "iWatch" could also spend some time drawing up -- pardon the pun -- "iGlasses."

Perhaps Apple design chief Jony Ive is already at work on both, or something similar. What matters is that he isn't alone. Apple taught its competitors that design matters. Google listened, and with Pixel and Glass it's attempting to woo Apple's core audience.

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