updated 05:55 am EDT, Tue March 25, 2014
Glasses manufacturer to assist with design, production, distribution of Google Glass
Google is partnering with Luxottica, the manufacturer behind Ray-Ban and Oakley, to work on designs for the search company's Glass project. The agreement will not only cover the creation of new frames for Google Glass, but will also see the premium eyewear brand assisting with its manufacturing expertise and, potentially, distribution of Glass via its retail stores.
In recent months, Google has expanded the range of fittings for the head-mounted computer from a simple frame to include versions with prescription lenses, though the choice of designs is relatively limited. While the agreement covers design and manufacturing by Luxottica, it is not clear if it will be for the frame section alone or for a more complete device.
Google Glass with prescription frames
"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," reads the Luxottica press release. Google posted "Luxottica understands how to build, distribute and sell great products that their clients and consumers love - something we care deeply about at Glass too," though warning "You're not going to see Glass on your favorite Oakleys or Ray-Bans tomorrow."
Teaming up with Luxottica also helps solve a future distribution issue for Google, as the manufacturer operates over 5,000 optical and sun retail stores in the United States. Partnering with the chain would be an easier way to distribute glass than for it to construct its own outlets, like the mysterious Google barge, though it does not help get the product to customers outside the United States.
Luxottica already has experience with wearable computing, with it previously working on a rival to Google Glass under the Oakley brand.