Channels

11:03 AM
Kelly Sheridan
Kelly Sheridan
Commentary
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Will Insurance Increase Access to Google Glass?

In a move that will impact consumers and healthcare providers, VSP has agreed to offer subsidized frames and prescription lenses for Google Glass.

Optical insurer VSP VisionCare has struck a deal with Google to offer prescription lenses and subsidized frames for Google Glass, reports the New York Times. This move will make Glass more affordable for consumers and increase the level of cooperation between health care and consumer electronics companies.

VSP, which insures one-fifth of Americans, has provided Google’s eye care insurance since the company was founded, according to CNET. The two companies have been discussing a Glass-based partnership for over a year.

[ Read: Aetna Increases Focus On Employee Health. ]

Insurance industry experts told Insurance & Technology earlier this year that Google Glass represents the dawning of a new age of wearable devices that have the potential to impact the industry with new personal data. If the Google-VSP agreement succeeds in increasing availability to Glass, it stands to reason that other insurers could make more of a case to figure out ways to use the new data. And, of course, VSP potentially has a leg up in terms of seeing what kind of data Glass gleans and relating it to risk management.

And increasing accessibility seems to be the plan: Jim McGrann, president of VSP, told CNET that he expects insurance will provide a means for consumers to better adjust to Glass, which has not yet reached the general public. Meanwhile, Google anticipates that Glass will become publicly available beyond the Explorer program in late 2014.

Kelly Sheridan is an associate editor for Insurance & Technology. Prior to joining InformationWeek Financial Services, she was a staff writer for InformationWeek and InformationWeek Education. Kelly has also written for trade publication Promo Marketing and a number of ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Becca L
50%
50%
Becca L,
User Rank: Author
1/31/2014 | 8:32:20 PM
re: Will Insurance Increase Access to Google Glass?
Agreed, a full scale marketing campaign may not turn as many heads as a partnership with Glass. In general I think a lot of people struggle to get the most out of their insurance coverage, so this is an interesting incentive for people to review their policies and actually have interesting discussions about coverage with friends and relatives.
Becca L
50%
50%
Becca L,
User Rank: Author
1/31/2014 | 8:28:09 PM
re: Will Insurance Increase Access to Google Glass?
I am sure VSP never imagined that when they signed onto Google as their eye insurer that this opportunity would develop. I think it quite charming that they formed a partnership this way.
Kelly22
50%
50%
Kelly22,
User Rank: Author
1/28/2014 | 7:37:31 PM
re: Will Insurance Increase Access to Google Glass?
It's fantastic marketing exposure, that's for sure. With all the coverage on this in WSJ, NYT, CNET and others, there could be thousands of people learning about VSP for the first time.
Nathan Golia
50%
50%
Nathan Golia,
User Rank: Author
1/28/2014 | 7:10:40 PM
re: Will Insurance Increase Access to Google Glass?
It's similar to the arrangement MetLife and Walmart have, though instead of the insurer turning to the retailer to increase access to its product, it's the retailer hoping insurance spurs more product sales.
KBurger
50%
50%
KBurger,
User Rank: Author
1/28/2014 | 5:59:29 PM
re: Will Insurance Increase Access to Google Glass?
There are several implications for insurers here -- not just the potential data-gleaning benefits from wearable computing/Internet of things, but also around non-traditional partnerships and also target marketing/product customization. I'm sure right now there's a relatively limited market of people for prescription Google Glass, but VSP is out front to capture that segment early on.There's also great marketing and buzz for VSP, even if relatively few customers take advantage of the availability.
Register for Insurance & Technology Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Slideshows
Video