Review : RO GPLC frames and GOLD lenses


If you wear prescription glasses, being able to use Glass effectively can be a real challenge. It took me a week or so to figure out just how to put them on so that they would work with my prescription frames. Even then, I couldn’t see the Glass display very well and many times, I saw double because of the position of the display in relation to my prescription lenses.

Earlier this year, three companies announced frames suitable for prescription lenses for Glass. Google announced four frames that replace the standard titanium frame that comes with Glass. Rochester Optical and Optics Planet revealed frames that attach to the standard Glass frame. After some internal debate with myself and interaction with the companies themselves, I settled on a pair of GPLC frames from Rochester Optical.

It was a rather painful two week wait for my new glasses, but I was very happy when they finally arrived. They came in a flat, square-ish box.

Rochester Optical box

In it, were the frames, a carrying case, lens cleaner fluid, and lens cleaning cloth. Underneath the cardboard that held the carrying case and leans cleaner fluid was a screwdriver and two extra screws.

Inside the box

The frame were inside the carrying case wrapped in bubble wrap. My first impression was that they were well-made, good quality, and didn’t feel cheap or plastic-y.

RO GPLC frame

When the frames shipped, I was given a link to an instructional video on how to install it. The frames have two screws that hold a plate on the back side of the bridge. That’s what the included screwdriver is for. The screws are extremely small and short, so they can be removed with just a few turns. I unintentionally removed both screws and lining up the holes again when installing the frame can be tricky with just two hands. If I had followed the video and just loosened one of the screws, it would have been much easier. The nice thing is that the screwdriver is magnetic. If it wasn’t, putting the screws back would have been much more difficult.

The other somewhat tricky part is that the bridge fits perfectly between the nose pieces of Glass so getting it in just right can take some fiddling. However, I was grateful it fit so perfectly because I was sure it was in the right place once I got it in.

Installed GPLC frame

The first time I put on Glass with my new frames, I was amazed. I was finally seeing Glass the way it was meant to be seen. No more double vision, no more blurriness, and no more fiddling when Glass got out of position. I could see Glass clearly. Rochester Optical did a great job making the GOLD lenses so that looking up at Glass is crisp and clear.

I had also purchased the transition lenses. I wasn’t sure if I wanted them because I had never had transition lenses before. They work well, but they take some getting used to. It’s a bit weird to me to not notice when they are transitioning to dark, but take some time to transition back when I go back indoors. I feel like I’m walking into dimly lit rooms a lot more often now.

My only issue right now is that I am old. Because of that, I need bifocals. I bought progressive lenses and while the lenses were manufactured to the right prescription, the frames I chose are a bit small for the transitions between the two focal lengths. I’m getting more distortion than I am used to and it is giving me headaches and causing eye strain and fatigue. I purchased the GPLC-022 and they should work well for single vision lenses, but I would not recommend them for bifocals.

I had considered the Optics Planet frames because they are removable. As a Glass Explorer, it is nice to allow people to try on Glass when you do a demo. Nothing replaces the actual experience of Glass. However, I see now why Rochester Optical opted to “permanently” attach their frames. It makes it much more sturdy and really makes the frames really feel like they are part of Glass.

I was hoping to see if there was a way to rig the GPLC frames to be removable, but with the screws and holes so small, I don’t know that I will be able to do it. It doesn’t take much time to remove and attach the GPLC frames, but I don’t want to carry around a screwdriver and risk losing the small screw just to let someone try it out.

Overall, I am happy with the quality of the GPLC frames and GOLD lenses. Rochester Optical has done a great job adapting the frames and lenses to Glass and I have no doubt they will be in high demand when Glass goes public.

Me with the GPLC frame


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