Google to Offer Ray-Ban and Oakley Versions of Glass

Video: YouTube, Google

After months of speculation about which company Google might tap to produce more fashionable versions of Glass, the tech giant finally announced a partnership with Luxottica on Monday.

As the parent company of Ray-Ban and Oakley, Luxottica will work with Google to introduce Glass devices that incorporate the styles of the two well-known eyewear brands.

Pairing Ray-Ban, an American classic, with Glass could help the device attract less tech-oriented consumers in the U.S. market. For their part, tech enthusiasts will likely be excited by potential Glass devices from Oakley, a brand known for its futuristic designs.

"We have come to a point where we now have both a technology push and a consumer pull for wearable-technology products and applications," Andrea Guerra, CEO of Luxottica Group, said in a statement. "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."

In January, Google announced a prescription-lens version of the device, dashing earlier rumors that the company would team up with Warby Parker to offer fashionable frames.

Earlier this month, a report said Google had plans to open Glass retail stores. However, a statement on the official Glass blog suggests Google may rely on Luxottica for its mainstream retail debut. It said, "Luxottica’s retail and wholesale distribution channels will serve us well when we make Glass available to more people down the road."

Despite these developments, however, Glass still has its share of skeptics. The skepticism is driven, in part, by Glass' high price ($1,500), negative media reports and perhaps most of all, the fact that it's been nearly two years since the company's high-profile unveiling of the project, but there still is no update on when Glass will be offered to mainstream consumers.

The Luxottica partnership is a signal to users that Google is indeed serious about getting Glass into the hands of the masses.

"We are thrilled to be partnering with them as we look to push Glass and the broader industry forward into the emerging smart eyewear market," Astro Teller, Google vice-president and head of Google X, said in a statement.

When contacted by Mashable, a Luxottica spokesperson was unable to provide details on the glasses' pricing and availability.

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