You may not have heard of Luxottica, despite it being the world’s largest glasses distributor, but you’ll no doubt know some of its brands. It owns almost all the major names, from Oakley to Ray-Ban, and Vogue to Arnette. It also produces the glasses made for most designers, such as Armani, Paul Smith and Prada. There’s no bigger name in the industry.
Google has announced a deal with Luxotica, whereby the company will build Google Glass into some of its products, adding much needed customer appeal to the geeky eyewear. In a post on the Google Glass Google+ page, it’s explained that Luxottica will “bring design and manufacturing expertise to the mix,” so Google can offer a larger choice of styles to customers.
Additionally, Luxotica has signed on as a distributor, ready for when Glass is made available to the public. In the UK, this could mean your local Sunglass Hut, which is owned by Luxottica, will stock Google Glass. This won’t happen anytime soon though, as Glass is still an invitation-only piece of hardware, restricted to buyers in America.
Google plays down how soon Luxottica will make a difference to the Glass range too. It says we’re “not going to see Glass on your favourite Oakleys or Ray-Bans tomorrow,” but does state that the deal is the start of a “new chapter in Glass’ design.”
It’s a massive deal, and one which is much needed, as the smart eyewear had been suffering from some bad press recently. Bringing on a firm which understands glasses and the industry could transform Glass into a true, mainstream product.