The company responsible for designer sunglasses like Ray-Ban and Oakley will now be bringing you Glass. Luxottica Group has announced they will “design, develop and distribute a new breed of eyewear for Glass.” Though details on what those would be aren’t available yet, it does hint at Glass losing it’s geek-chic status.
The announcement reads that Google and Luxottica will be working closely, and exchanging staff as well as ideas. According to the press release, “the two Corporations will establish a team of experts devoted to working on the design, development, tooling and engineering of Glass products that straddle the line between high-fashion, lifestyle and innovative technology.” This may not get Glass away form its concerning array of functions, but it does relieve the stigma some have associated with the wearables form factor.
Neither company was forthcoming about plans in the announcement, though they similarly announced their mutual admiration. We understand that both Luxottica and Google are enamored with one another, but what are we getting out of this? We’d expect some sporty eyewear from Oakley, as well as some stylish pieces from Ray-Ban — but will there be any functionality added? New use-cases based on what eyewear can be imagined?
Time will tell. One thing we can glean from this is that Glass isn’t likely to be a budget-friendly device. Both Oakly and Ray-Ban sit amongst the more premium-priced designs on the market. It would be nice to be able to snatch Glass from an Oakley Store in the mall, though. Luxottica has their own stores as well as a distribution chain already established with the likes of Sunglass Hut and others. That might help with the "we'll never get Glass!" chatter as much as the new styling will help with perception.