The founder and chairman of Google’s biggest and most important Google Glass partner, Luxottica, says that he would actually be embarrassed to be “going around” with the Mountain View company’s wearable device on his face (via WSJ). Why might this be interesting? As you may recall, Google made a partnership with the huge Oakley/Ray-ban parent company earlier this year and is supposedly planning to eventually release frames in collaboration with them.
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In comments made to the Financial Times on Tuesday, Leonardo Del Vecchio has contradicted the feelings of Luxottica as a whole, with the company saying they were just a “joke about his age.” The comments come just a day after Andrea Guerra stepped down as Luxottica’s CEO, and at a press conference on Monday the new Luxottica co-CEO Enrico Cavatorta said that Luxottica’s deal with Google is exclusive.
The full quote:
“I have not used Google Glass,” Mr. Del Vecchio told the FT in an interview. “It would embarrass me going around with that on my face. It would be OK in the disco, but I no longer go to the disco.”
Mr. Del Vecchio, the 79-year-old executive chairman at the world’s largest eyewear manufacturer by sales, said the success of the partnership depended on the “bravura” of the US group in improving the technology so that it gains mass market appeal.
“We at Luxottica know how to make the frames, we know how to make them beautiful, we can call them Ray-Ban, or Oakley, we can put the names of our brands, we can make them light and of quality, but in order to do that Google needs to make a step forward [to broaden the technology’s appeal],” he said.
Following these comments, a Luxottica spokesman had this to say:
Mr. Del Vecchio was making a joke about his age. Luxottica is completely committed to its partnership with Google and we have a team working flat out to be ready to launch the device in 2015.
Interestingly, this the first we’ve heard that Glass wouldn’t be coming in 2014 (although it could have probably been assumed at this point). The release for a public version of Glass has been pushed back by the company many times over the last couple of years, with Sergey Brin saying earlier this year that Glass would be a commercial product “this year, give or take.” I guess it’s give.