Google Glass is a lot of things, but one thing it's not is particularly fashionable. When Google finally launches their wearable tech to the masses, all of the innovative features in the world aren't going to help sell the thing if nobody wants to wear it on their face. In order to make Google Glass more fashionable, Google has just announced a partnership with a company that manufactures and distributes some of the world's most popular eyewear brands.
The new deal is with the Luxottica Group, the parent company of brands like Ray-Ban, Oakley, Vogue-Eyewear, Persol, Oliver Peoples, Alain Mikli and Arnette. Of course, Ray-Ban and Oakley are the huge names here.
"We see Glass as the next chapter in this long story. Light, simple and modular, Glass introduces new functionality as your glasses get smarter – but bringing your own style to Glass is just as important. Earlier this year, we launched the Titanium Collection, designed by the Glass team. Between frames, shades, and colors, there are over 40 different ways for Explorers to make Glass their own today… but that’s not enough," says the Google Glass team.
"Luxottica understands how to build, distribute and sell great products that their clients and consumers love – something we care deeply about at Glass, too. They’ll bring design and manufacturing expertise to the mix, and, together, we’ll bring even more Glass style choices to our Explorers. In addition, Luxottica’s retail and wholesale distribution channels will serve us well when we make Glass available to more people down the road."
Google knows that it's not just about fashion, but about distribution and that's what makes this partnership especially crucial for the company.
According to the Luxottica Group, the first thing you'll see out of this new partnership will "combine high-end technology with avant-garde design offering the best in style, quality and performance."
But don't expect to see Google Glass Ray-Bans on the market anytime soon–this is just the beginning of this phase for Glass.
"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. We believe it is high time to combine the unique expertise, deep knowledge and quality of our Group with the cutting edge technology expertise of Google and give birth to a new generation of revolutionary devices," says Luxottica CEO Andrea Guerra.
Fashion isn't the only hurdle that awaits Google when Glass goes live–acceptance is probably a bigger problem. Not only are state lawmakers actively constructing legislation to ban the use of the tech while driving (something which Google is heavily lobbying against), but there's a perception out there that wearing Google Glass makes you a Glasshole. Google knows this, and for the past few weeks have been running a sort of anti-Glasshole campaign.
But there's no doubt that seeing a pair of Ray-Ban Google Glasses right next to all the classic sunglasses in a store would go a long way to mainstream the product.