Luxottica Group SpA announced today that it is partnering with Google to develop the next generation of Google Glass.
Luxottica Group SpA fashion designers and eyewear professionals will work hand-in-hand with Google developers to create a new line of Google Glass products that "straddle the line between high-fashion, lifestyle and innovative technology," according to the companies.
Luxottica CEO Andrea Guerra told the daily La Repubblica that the push to market will be in 2015 and that the Google partnership should help guarantee the eyewear maker annual growth of 5% to 10%.
Google Glass combines the most important features of any smartphone or computer into a simple, user-friendly, wearable interface. Google hopes to revolutionize the way users interact with technology. For example, Google recently added on the ability for wearers to wink to take a photo. Google notes that Google Glass can do such things as record what you're seeing, pull up directions, and send messages.
Currently, Google Glass products are available only to "Explorers" (testers) for $1,500, but The Washington Post reports that Google could be prepping for a full commercial launch later this year.
This latest move marks a new level of brand recognition for Google Glass. Luxottica-owned Ray-Ban and Oakley frames will both accommodate Google's most innovative eyewear, although details will be disclosed "at a later stage."
"We live in a world where technological innovation has dramatically changed the way in which we communicate and interact in everything that we do," said Luxottica Group SpA CEO Andrea Guerra in a statement today. "More importantly, we have come to a point where we now have both a technology push and a consumer pull for wearable technology products and applications. Seeing such a future, over the last years, Luxottica invested heavily in building-out our technology platforms and digital solutions to combine with our products excellence. We believe that a strategic partnership with a leading player like Google is the ideal platform for developing a new way forward in our industry and answering the evolving needs of consumers on a global scale."
For Google, Vice President Astro Teller was quoted as saying, "Luxottica has built an impressive history over the last 50 years designing, manufacturing and distributing some of the most successful and well-known brands in eyewear today. ... We are thrilled to be partnering with them as we look to push Glass and the broader industry forward into the emerging smart eyewear market."
Google Glass currently offers four titanium frames that can be used with a glasses prescription or without. It also comes with twist-on darkened lenses.
-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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