Ray-Ban, Oakley to make Google Glass

(Credit: Google)Google Glass

Its users are derided as "glassholes." The product's been slammed as "generally useless." It's seriously overpriced ($1,500 per glass). And it's allegedly part of a conspiracy to lead Americans into that all-intrusive police state of the future.

Say hello to Google Glass. Yes, it's still a prototype. And, yes it will hit the market despite the non-stop bashing it's getting. But the reviews haven't been great and Google wants to change all that by giving the controversial product a fashion makeover.

That's where those iconic American eyewear brands, Ray-Ban and Oakley, come in.    

Google, Inc. is partnering with Luxottica Group SpA, the Italian conglomerate that owns both brands and controls 80% of the world's major eyewear brands, to make Glass sexier and more, well, human.

Luxottica will set-up teams focused on design, development, tooling and engineering to create the sexier Google Glasses. Glass combines a tiny screen, camera and audio on a small device that's worn like an eyeglass.

Bedeviled by the Glass prototypes' mixed reviews, Google is looking for new ways to get Glass to appeal to a wider audience Google also wants more consumers to use their services on mobile devices.

Google said it plans to release mainstream versions later. These could include the Ray-Ban and Oakley designs.

Astro Teller, head of Google X, the lab where Glass was first developed, said they are thrilled to be partnering with Luxottica as Google looks to push Glass and the broader industry forward into the emerging smart eyewear market.

"We live in a world where technological innovation has dramatically changed the way in which we communicate and interact in everything that we do," said Andrea Guerra, Luxottica CEO.

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