Google looks to get stylish with Ray-Ban partnership

Web giant Google has announced a tie-up with eyewear specialist the Luxottica Group as part of its Google Glass project. The Group is parent to several eyewear brands, including Ray-Ban and Oakley, and has over 5,000 retail outlets in the US. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Google said that the tie-up will bring additional style to Google Glass. The firm unveiled a Titanium Collection for the project earlier this year, which was designed in-house. Google added that there are now more than 40 different styles of the connected spectacles available for users today but is looking to build on that ahead of a full commercial launch.

“Luxottica understands how to build, distribute and sell great products that their clients and consumers love – something we care deeply about at Glass, too,” the firm said in a Google+ post.

“They’ll bring design and manufacturing expertise to the mix, and, together, we’ll bring even more Glass style choices to our Explorers (users). In addition, Luxottica’s retail and wholesale distribution channels will serve us well when we make Glass available to more people down the road.”

The move comes as Google is receiving mixed reactions to the Glass project. The firm issued a list of “Top 10 Google Glass Myths” in a separate Google+ post last week, seeking to allay fears that Glass users are constantly recording what they see, quashing rumours that the project is ready for a full commercial rollout and arguing that Google Glass users are not “technology-worshipping geeks”.

“Our Explorers come from all walks of life. They include parents, firefighters, zookeepers, brewmasters, film students, reporters, and doctors,” the firm said.

“The one thing they have in common is that they see the potential for people to use technology in a way that helps them engage more with the world around them, rather than distract them from it.”

Smart glasses shipments are expected to top ten million annually by 2018 according to Juniper Research, and a number of enterprise-focused use cases have significantly increased since the Google unveiled the project.


Bluetooth World kicks off on the 8th to 9th April 2014 at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center, USA

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