New York Times says that Google Glass is in talks with Warby Parker to make sure the augmented reality head-up display isn’t just geeky-cool, but cool looking.
Google Glass is basically a computer that allows you to take a picture or record video of whatever you’re seeing using voice commands, and then send it off to your social network. It displays map instructions in real time, translates words, allows you to read your Gmail, and answers spoken questions like ‘how long is the Brooklyn Bridge?’ Google is holding an essay contest on Twitter and Google+ to recruit beta testers. Enter before Feb 27, 2013 and be prepared to pay $1500, plus tax!
That's Google co-founder Sergey Brin on the left wearing a pair.
Meanwhile, Warby Parker is famous inside and outside of cause marketing circles for its use of BOGO, buy one-give one. When you buy a pair of Warby Parkers the company gives a second pair of glasses to someone in need.
BOGO is a defining part of Warby Parker’s unique selling proposition, so you have to believe that they’re not just talking to Google about matters of eyeglass style, but how to sell Google Glasses with an eye toward social responsibility. Especially when the sales price starts at 1500 clams.
Google already has numerous corporate social responsibility initiatives Google Giving, Google Green, Google in Education, Google Ideas, and more. The company has been even more ambitious in the past.
There’s no point in Google limning Warby Parker BOGO effort directly. It’s too early for Google Glasses in Gambia, Ghana, or Gabon.
Instead, I suggest that Google establish a sponsorship relationship with the Lions Clubs International, which has done more than any other service organization to arrest and treat visual impairment and blindness across the world for coming up on 100 years.
The Lions were founded in the United States, but like the other prominent service clubs, Rotary and Kiwanis, their highest membership growth takes place overseas.
According to the WHO, 285 million people worldwide have visual impairment, about 90 percent of whom live in the developing world. While infectious disease as a cause of visual impairment in the developing world has been greatly reduced in the last 20 years, it’s a fact that 80 percent of visual impairment can be avoided or cured.
Google should make its donation to Lion’s Clubs International in cash, but it ought to denominate it in eyesight saved or restored. So something like BOGFI; Buy One, Give Five people the gift of sight.
And they should start with kids. The Lions already have a network of 35 childhood clinics in 30 countries that are up and running.
Surely Google can see what an advantage a partnership with the Lions would be.