Sunglasses and Google Glass have been in conflict over which will occupy space on the face.
Apart from perfecting the technical aspects of Google Glass, the company has not succeeded in overcoming its somewhat “nerdy” image.
All that’s about to change, as Google have made a deal with Rayban manufacturer Luxottica to work together to produce a highly fashionable collection of shades which will combine Italian design know-how with the latest American technology.
The world’s largest search engine is teaming up with the world’s largest manufacturer of marquee brands of sunglasses. Luxottica has guaranteed it will include both its Rayban and Oakley brands in the collection due to be launched in 2015.
The main beneficiary from the deal at the the moment is Luxottica owner Leonardo Del Vecchio who saw his personal fortune jump $700 million in one day as news of the collaboration broke, and the shares of his sunglasses and eyewear group increased by four percent.
He now controls 61.35% of Luxottica through holding company Delfin. Billionaire fashion designer Giorgio Armani owns a 4.77% stake in the company.
Luxottica CEO Andrea Guerra announced that Luxottica and Google will put together a team to “design, develop and distribute a new breed of eyewear for Glass,”
Google confirmed that “given Luxottica’s rich history in manufacturing, we anticipate that they will have a significant role in the manufacturing of Glass-related frames.”
Luxottica, controls a huge proportion of the global eyewear and sunglass market through its own brands, and licensing agreements with the likes of Prada, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, and Coach. It owns some 7000 stores worldwide including Sunglass Hut.
Google have not managed to overcome the negative publicity surrounding the surveillance aspect of Google Glass technology. They have been accused of dehumanizing and isolating individuals.
Indeed, some of the critics of Google Glass have even coined the term “Glasshole” to describe the wearers of the product. Maybe the association with such top fashion brands of sunglasses will help Google dispel that image,
One thing is for sure. No-one can call Leonardo Del Vecchio a “glasshole,” or anything that sounds remotely like it.
He’s laughing all the way to the bank!