Google Glass set for makeover in Ray-Ban and Oakley deal
Ray-Ban and Oakley maker Luxottica has signed a deal with Google to design, develop and sell a “new breed” of glasses based on Google’s Glass technology.
Luxottica and Google will set up teams to focus on the design, development, tooling and engineering of Glass products. Luxottica says the two firms hope to create “innovative, iconic wearable devices” that “straddle the line between high-fashion, lifestyle and innovative technology”.
Both the Ray-Ban and Oakley brands will be part of the collaboration. Oakley in particular has already made forays into wearable technology, launching goggles that include a built-in display that includes GPS and Bluetooth.
Luxottica Group chief executive Andrea Guerra says: “We live in a world where technological innovation has dramatically changed the way in which we communicate and interact in everything that we do. 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.”
Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. The first products from the partnership are expected to become available in 2015.
The agreement with Luxottica follows a deal between Google and VSP Global in January to offer Google Glass with prescription lenses. The deals mark a step up in Google’s efforts to boost the appeal of Glass to a wider audience following criticism of the product over privacy and data security concerns.
Astro Teller, Google’s vice president and head of Google X, says: “Luxottica has built an impressive history over the last 50 years designing, manufacturing and distributing some of the most successful and well-known brands in eyewear today. We are thrilled to be partnering with them as we look to push Glass and the broader industry forward into the emerging smart eyewear market.”