Luxottica, the holding company for pricey eyeware brands Ray-Ban, Oakley, Persol and even Burberry, has inked a deal that will see it design stylish versions of Google's “glass” tech specs.
The eyewear company's canned statement says it will work with Google“ on the creation of innovative iconic wearable devices”. To do so the two companies 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.”
And there we were thinking the stuff that goes into technology industry canned statements was dross.
Ray-Ban and Oakley have been singled out as the two brands in Luxottica's stable to get the Glass treatment. Oakley already has form in wearable tech: its “Razrwire” Bluetooth glasses got us all excited back in 2005 and in 2012 the outfit taaked up “smart glasses”.
There's a big “watch this space” caveat on the deal, with Luxottica saying details of products “will be disclosed at a later stage.”
What's in it for Google? It's emission about the deal says “ Luxottica’s retail and wholesale distribution channels will serve us well when we make Glass available to more people down the road.”
Those retail channels include Sunglass Hut, Lenscrafters and OPSM, plus others, for a reputed global total of over 7,000 stores.
If Glass lands in all of those stores, plus others Luxottica can address with distribution services, that will mean the tech specs are available in an awful lot of malls around the world and will have a service and repair operation ready to handle the inevitable breakages and accidents.
Perhaps all those stores might also sell Google's Nexus devices to help Glass connect to the internet. If so, Google's vision for Glass looks very far-sighted. ®