Google to collaborate with Oakley, Ray-Ban on new Glass eyewear


— 11:00 AM on March 25, 2014

Despite its high-tech wizardry, Google Glass looks kind of goofy. But that could change, because Google has announced a partnership with The Luxottica Group, which owns Oakley, Ray-Ban, and a bunch of fashion-oriented eyewear brands. Google will work with Luxottica on the design and manufacturing of new Glass styles. It also plans to take advantage of the group's distribution channels, though that will presumably have to wait until there's broad demand for Android-infused spectacles. Google Glass still costs $1,500, putting it well out of reach for most folks.

Oakleys and Ray-Bans aren't exactly cheap, either, but I'm curious to see what the designers behind the iconic sunglasses brands can do with Glass. Hopefully, they can make the wearable device look less obtrusive. Oakley squeezed an MP3 player into its Thump sunglasses years ago, so it at least has some experience integrating electronics into eyewear.

Of course, improving the selection of frames doesn't address the fact that some folks find Google Glass vaguely creepy. Google has published guidelines advising users on how not to be a "Glasshole," but there already seems to be some stigma associated with the eyewear. Nevertheless, I'm intrigued by Google Glass' potential for athletic pursuits like running, cycling, and skiing. Oakley should be able to come up with something that works well for those activities.

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