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Luxottica to make nerdy Google Glass look cool

Luxottica Group S.p.A. (Luxottica or ‘the group’), the world’s largest producer of eyewear, which offers a range of premium, luxury, sport and performance glasses, has signed a strategic partnership with Google over its Glass eyewear.

According to the agreement, the two groups will work together to create innovative wearable devices for the Glass brand. Luxottica will put Google’s geeky device through the designer’s laboratory in an attempt to make it cool. The eyewear giant is expected to take care of the design, development and distribution of Google Glass. The company’s two major brands, Ray-Ban and Oakley, would be part of the deal, but no further details have been disclosed.

Currently, Glass, which costs more than $1,500, is only available to a select few through Google’s Explorer Program and the company did not give any additional information as to when it plans a broader retail release. However, Luxottica expects to have its Glass collection hit the market in 2015.

This strategic partnership with a leading player like Google is the ideal platform for Luxottica to develop a new way forward in the glasses industry and answer the evolving needs of consumers on a global scale.

Although no financial terms have yet been disclosed, Luxottica’s founder Leonardo Del Vecchio is already a winner, as in the aftermath of the Google partnership announcement shares in his sunglass empire surged more than 4% and his fortune jumped more than $700m, to reach $19.8bn.

Google Glass has received its fair share of criticism for its wearable technology, including being called a constant surveillance device that aids in the dehumanizing and isolating of individuals. However, this recent partnership with Luxottica shows that wearable technology is here to stay, no matter what personal opinions on this matter are.

For further reading, check out our case studies:

Wearable technology: The new tech battleground?

Luxottica: Rise to power through extreme vertical diversification

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