MILAN (Reuters) - Ray-Ban sunglasses maker Luxottica said on Monday it had sealed a strategic partnership with Google Inc over its Glass eyewear that could pave the way for a new market in smart glasses.
In a statement, Italy’s Luxottica said it would design, develop and distribute a new kind of eyewear for the U.S. group’s Internet-connected Glass eyewear.
Google Glass is a small stamp-sized screen attached to a pair of eyeglass frames. It can record video, access email, and retrieve information from the Web by connecting wirelessly to a user’s cell phone.
Luxottica said the two groups would work together to create innovative wearable devices for the iconic Glass brand.
No financial terms were disclosed.
Luxottica said its two major brands, Ray-Ban and Oakley, would be part of the deal with Glass but it gave no further details.
“We believe that a strategic partnership with a leading player like Google is the ideal platform for developing a new way forward in our industry and answering the evolving needs of consumers on a global scale,” Luxottica Chief Executive Officer Andrea Guerra said.
Many believe wearable computers such as Google Glass represent the next big shift in technology, just as smartphones evolved from personal computers.
But some concern has been expressed over possible privacy intrusion issues the device might entail.
Reporting by Stephen Jewkes