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Tuesday, 25 March 2014 12:01

Google Glass gets sex appeal with new Ray Ban deal Featured

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A Glass employee with a previously-announced prescription version of Google Glass A Glass employee with a previously-announced prescription version of Google Glass Google

Google has signed a deal with Luxottica Group, the company behind Ray Ban and Oakley, to help add a bit of fashion sense to Google Glass.

Luxottica announced in a statement today that it is setting up teams focused on design, development, tooling and engineering of products. One major of criticism of Google Glass, which has yet to be released to the public, is that it lacks style and outs its wearers as tech geeks.

Google had previously said it plans to release mainstream versions “down the road", and it seems that day is approaching.

"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," the search giant said in a Google+ post.

“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,” Astro Teller, the head of Google X, the lab where Glass was first developed, said in the statement.

“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.”

The Ray-Ban and Oakley brands will be included in the collaboration with Google Glass, the companies said.

“We live in a world where technological innovation has dramatically changed the way in which we communicate and interact in everything that we do,” Andrea Guerra, chief executive officer of Milan-based Luxottica, said in the statement.

At this stage Google Glass is still only available to developers as part of its Explorer program for $US1500, though once it's released to the public it should be also available through Luxottica's retail outlets, such as Sunglass Hut in Australia.

Google also announced its Android Wear platform last week including the Moto 360 watch, which will see smartwatches for example move away from the niche look of the Pebble smartwatch to more mainstream, attractive styles.

No financial terms of the deal were provided.

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