Italian luxury eyewear company Luxottica and chipmaker Intel look like the least likely of partners, but both companies have teamed up to bolster each other's efforts in their foray into the smart wearable industry.

In a statement released on Dec. 3, Luxottica announced that it has struck a partnership with the Santa Clara, California-based semiconductor company to "push the boundaries of research and development to anticipate what smart technology for eyewear will look like in the future."

The partnership will involve the creation of a research and development group that will be based largely in California and composed of technology and fashion specialists from both companies. They will be bringing their expertise together to develop new technologies that can be applied to Luxottica's numerous eyewear brands, including premium names such as Ray-Ban, Oakley and Persol, as well as luxury fashion brands Chanel, Prada, Giorgio Armani, Burberry, Miu Miu, Tory Burch and Stella McCartney.

The first product to come out of the Intel-Luxottica partnership is expected to come out in 2015.

"Through our collaboration with Luxottica Group, we will unite our respective ecosystems and bring together Intel's leading-edge silicon and software technology with Luxottica's design innovation and consumer expertise," says Intel CEO Brian Krzanich. "We expect the combination of our expertise to help drive a much faster pace of innovation and push the envelope of what's possible."

Asked about warnings by smart watch designer William Adams, better known by his rapper name, that designers should be wary about partnering with technology companies because they could copy their designs and bring them to market at a cheaper price, Krzanich said partnerships such as the one it has with Luxottica are "very non-threatening" because Intel has no plans to sell its products to end consumers, although the company did acquire Basis and currently markets its line of Basis fitness bands to the end market.

Earlier this week, Intel started shipping the MICA band, a smart bracelet whose name stands for My Intelligent Communication Assistant. Borne of a partnership with fashion brand Opening Ceremony, MICA was designed as a tech-savvy fashion accessory made for women, whose preferences are often disregarded during the design phase of most other wearable devices.

Both Intel and Luxottica already have their toes dipped in the smart eyewear industry. A report by the Wall Street Journal earlier this week says the next version of Google Glass will have Intel inside, replacing the old processor provided by Texas Instruments in the Google Glass Explorer edition.

Facing criticism that Google Glass is too nerdy for most people to wear at work or during casual days, Google decided to partner with Luxottica and fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg in an attempt to deliver more fashion-forward designs for its smart eyewear.

Unfortunately, Google Glass has plenty of other pain points that Google still has to address to get mainstream consumers to accept smart eyewear the way they did with iPods and smartphones.

"Together with Intel, we will continue to develop the potential of wearables, expanding the limits of what eyewear can be," says Luxottica CEO Massimo Vian. "We'll lead the change to create frames that are as intelligent and functional as they are beautiful. Products that customers will love to wear."

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