Good news for those of you who shed a tear when Google took Glass off the market – an Italian eyewear company (who has a previous partnership with Google) says it’s working on Google Glass version 2.0.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the CEO of Luxottica, Massimo Vian, confirmed the news during the company’s general meeting in Milan.
“In Google, there are some second thoughts on how to interpret version 3 [of the eyewear],” Mr. Vian reportedly told shareholders. “What you saw was version 1. We’re now working on version 2, which is in preparation.”
Luxottica and Google struck a deal in March of 2014, as Google looked to make its wearable device more fashionable. Google Glass always offered interesting technology, but getting people to strap one to their faces was always a problem. Google Glass is many things, but fashionable isn’t one of them.
The Luxottica Group is the parent company of brands like Ray-Ban, Oakley, Vogue-Eyewear, Persol, Oliver Peoples, Alain Mikli and Arnette.
“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,” said Google at the time.
Of course, we all know the Google Glass story from there. In January, Google yanked Glass off the market and shut down its Glass Explorer program.
But the program wasn’t axed, just transferred out of the Google X experimental labs and given its own division under Nest CEO Tony Fadell.
“It is a big and very fundamental platform for Google,” said Google chairman Eric Schmidt. “We ended the Explorer program and the press conflated this into us canceling the whole project, which isn’t true. Google is about taking risks and there’s nothing about adjusting Glass that suggests we’re ending it.” “That’s like saying the self-driving car is a disappointment because it’s not driving me around now, These things take time.”
Fadell has said Glass will return to the market “when it’s perfect”.
No word on when we might see the new and improved Glass, except for a vague “soon” from Vian.
Image via Google