While everyone waits for the official commercial release of the Google Glass, it may face one big issue of being just another gadget for the technophiles. One might be wishing to be a Glass Explorer but one might not don the wearable device if it cannot be as stylish as the ones made by known brands such as Oakley or Ray-Ban.
Google might have anticipated such problem and has partnered with Italian design house Luxottica Group to give the Glass the much needed oomph factor. The latter will be developing a set of frames for the wearable technology device and use its network in the United States to market the $1,500-gadget.
"We believe that a strategic partnership with a leading player like Google is the ideal platform for developing a new way forward in our industry and answering the evolving needs of consumers on a global scale. 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," said Luxottica chief executive Andrea Guerra.
The partnership will match the Google Glass with known eyewear brands such as Oakley and Ray-Ban, both known for having innovative approaches to product design. Luxottica and Google promise the move from plain Google Glass to a line of wearables that are built for performance and style.
Details about the new products have not been disclosed but Glass Explorers can expect more updates prior to the official launch of the new line of the Oakley-framed or Ray-Ban-styled Glass in 2015.
"Luxottica has built an impressive history over the last 50 years designing, manufacturing and distributing some of the most successful and well-known brands in eyewear today. 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," said Google Vice President and Google X Astro Teller head.
The announcement of Google has received mixed reactions.
"Great news!! I can't wait to see some designs," one reacted to the post on Google+.
Some also made clear what they really want.
"We don't need designer glasses for Glass... We need a sub-$1,000 price tag," another commented.
The deal with Luxottica is not the only partnership Google is exploring. In January, it has announced a collaboration with VSP Global to produce prescription lenses for the Glass, as well as provide training for professionals who can help consumers fit the wearable device.
Aside from the style of Google Glass, it has been haunted by privacy concerns from all directions. The wearable gadget manufacturer has been trying to address misconceptions about the device.
Glass Explorers have also been in trouble. A female donning the device was allegedly mugged in a San Francisco bar. The incident prompted other bar owners in the area to ban Google Glass inside bars citing requests from their patrons.