Luxottica partenrship will see Google Glass appearing in sunglasses from the likes of Oakley and Ray-Ban
The search giant announced the move on the Google Glass G+ page, saying the deal will herald ‘a new chapter’ in Google Glass’ design, which could see the technology soon appearing in Luxottica products including brands such as Ray-Ban and Oakley.
“Google has opened up a new potential opportunity,” Andrea Guerra, chief executive of Luxottica, which has over 5,000 optical and sun retail stores in the US alone, told the Wall Street Journal. “We believe that a strategic partnership with a leading player like Google is the ideal platform for developing a new way forward in our industry and answering the evolving needs of consumers on a global scale.”
The partnership will allow Google Glass users more choice in selecting a device, and follows the release of the ‘Titanium Collection’ earlier this year. Designed by the Glass team, the collection offers around 40 different combinations of frames, shades, and colours to personalise the device, which currently costs $1,500.
“Luxottica will bring design and manufacturing expertise to the mix,” said Google. “In addition, Luxottica’s retail and wholesale distribution channels will serve us well when we make Glass available to more people down the road.”
In the blog post, Google harked back to the earliest days of wearable technology, linking the development of the first eyeglasses in the 13th century to the invention of bifocals in the 18th century, with the monocle and sunglasses following soon after.
“Nowadays, glasses are a global phenomenon – a reflection of both function and fashion,” Google wrote. “We see Glass as the next chapter in this long story.”
Google has been working hard to promote the technology, but has encountered several incidents concerning legal and personal issues, which have shown that there is still work to be done before Glass is universally accepted. To combat this, Google released a list of suggestions and advice for Glass users (Google calls them “explorers”) to ensure they use the device properly and avoid being labelled ‘glassholes’.