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.
Oakley Stories September 3, 2014
Oakley Stories March 24, 2014
Google has just announced that it has signed a deal with with Ray-Ban and Oakley parent company Luxottica to work together on creating a series of frames compatible with Google Glass. Google also notes that the retail channels of Luxottica will make distributing Glass to the mainstream public even easier.
Unfortunately, details about availability and specific designs remain sparse, as Google notes several times that this announcement is simply to inform customers that the two companies are working together, not that they have any product to release. At first, Google says it plans to work with Ray-Ban and Oakley, but will eventually expand into Luxottica’s other brands, which include Vogue-Eyewear, Persol, Oliver Peoples, Alain Mikli, and Arnette. The first designs are expected to feature “avant-garde design,” which implies something more stylish than the bland offerings Google has now.
Google hopes that this partnership will make Glass more appealing to the general public, as people associate the Ray-Ban and Oakley names with style and high-end eyewear. The deal will also offer even more customization options. “Between frames, shades, and colors, there are over 40 different ways for Explorers to make Glass their own today,” Google said, “but that’s not enough.
Earlier this year, Google announced its own in-house designed frames, dubbed the Titanium Collection. Wetley also announced its own prescription frames, and was first to the market. You can read a FAQ about the partnership from Google below:
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Oakley Stories April 17, 2012
The eyewear maker told Bloomberg that it is developing technology for integrating smartphone elements into its products. The science is only in the preliminary stage, however, as Oakley’s Chief Executive Officer Colin Baden (picture, left) would not even validate plans to launch such spectacles. He did explain his company’s stance on the project, though, while detailing how the public is yearning for a heads-up display:
“As an organization, we’ve been chasing this beast since 1997,” explained Baden. “Ultimately, everything happens through your eyes, and the closer we can bring it to your eyes, the quicker the consumer is going to adopt the platform.”
Colin then described a few features he would like to see in the product, such as voice-controlled display information in conjunction with a smartphone via Bluetooth. The company actually has a few patents in place that detail its vision (available here, and pictured above). Oakley’s augmented-reality glasses would obviously not be cheap for consumers— especially because its initial target audience consists of athletes and eventually the U.S. military: