One of the biggest obstacles to Google Glass gaining wide acceptance is that the device simply looks ridiculous. The device isn’t even available for public purchase, but there is already a popular pejorative term coined for people who wear Google Glass around in public.
To challenge that image, Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) announced Monday a partnership with Luxottica Group SpA (NYSE:LUX), the company behind high-end designer eyewear brands like Ray-Ban, Oakley and Arnette, to bring some fashion sense to Google Glass and help distribute the smart glasses if they ever become available to the general public.
“[Luxottica will] bring design and manufacturing expertise to the mix, and, together, we’ll bring bring even more Glass style choices to our Explorers,” the Google Glass team said on Google Plus. “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 announcement has proven financially beneficial for both companies, but especially Luxottica, which closed trading on Tuesday up 4.34 percent.
Google released an image of what a Luxottica-designed Google Glass might look like, but also warned that they won’t be available for a while.
“You’re not going see Glass on your favorite Oakleys or Ray-Bans tomorrow, but today marks the start of a new chapter in Glass’s design,” Google said.
Luxottica is also the company behind Vogue-Eyewear, Persol, Oliver Peoples and Alain Mikli. The company is in charge of more than 5,000 stores in the U.S., which could be a huge asset for Google to promote and sell Google Glass without having its own retail outlet.
Google launched the Titanium Collection of Google Glass in January, which introduced titanium frames for prescription lenses, or people who just wanted the look of prescription lenses.
Google entered into a similar partnership with Fossil Group to produce the Android Wear line of smartwatches.