Google Glass is partnering with Luxottica Group, the Italian eyewear giant whose best-known brands include Ray-Ban, Oakley and Oliver Peoples, company officials announced Monday (March 24).
In a blog entry posted on Google+, Google Glass officials described how the new partnership could up the fashion ante for Google's group of test subjects, nicknamed "Explorers."
"Luxottica understands how to build, distribute and sell great products that their clients and consumers love — something we care deeply about at Glass, too," company officials wrote. "They'll bring design and manufacturing expertise to the mix, and together, we'll bring even more Glass style choices to our Explorers."
In January, Google released a collection of fashionable frames for their futuristic Glass devices, and enabled users to install prescription lenses, if needed. Now, company officials say teaming up with the Luxottica Group will help Google continue to expand the field of high-tech accessories.
"When the first eyeglasses appeared in the 13th century, they took off and over the next 700 years, they evolved over and over, with the first bifocals appearing in the 18th century, and the monocle and sunglasses shortly after," they wrote. "Nowadays, glasses are [a] global phenomenon — a reflection of both function and fashion. We see Glass as the next chapter in this long story."
The newly announced partnership should also enable Glass users to personalize their devices more effectively.
"Between frames, shades, and colors, there are over 40 different ways for Explorers to make Glass their own today … but that's not enough," company officials wrote on Google+.
While additional details about the agreement were not disclosed, Google officials said the Luxottica Group's experience with retail and wholesale distribution could boost the company's ability to reach more people with their product.
"You're not going to see Glass on your favorite Oakleys or Ray-Bans tomorrow, but today marks the start of a new chapter in Glass's design," company officials said.
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Denise Chow was the assistant managing editor at Live Science before moving to NBC News as a science reporter, where she focuses on general science and climate change. Before joining the Live Science team in 2013, she spent two years as a staff writer for Space.com, writing about rocket launches and covering NASA's final three space shuttle missions. A Canadian transplant, Denise has a bachelor's degree from the University of Toronto, and a master's degree in journalism from New York University.