Some may think that Google Inc.'s wearable computer Google Glass is an unneeded bit of technology, but the world's biggest eyeglass maker thinks it makes good business sense to get involved in that digital world early.
Italy's Luxottica Group SpA has inked a deal with Google to “join forces to design, develop and distribute a new breed of eyewear for Glass.”
Luxottica has its own in-house injection molding and mold making for its plastic frames as well as in-house production of polycarbonate lenses. The Milan-based company owns the Ray-Ban, Oakley and Vogue brands and licenses other brands such as Coach, Prada and Ralph Lauren.
While manufacturing plans were not released in a March 24 news release on the agreement, the companies said they have a “far reaching strategic partnership” to work across “multiple efforts on the creation of innovative iconic wearable devices.”
The current beta test samples of Google Glass on the market to the company's “explorers” have a small computer screen that hangs off a glasses-type frame and allows users to check emails, take photos or surf the web.
The agreement between Google, based in Mountain View, Calif., and Luxottica will create a team to work on the design, development tooling and engineering of future Glass products.
Luxottica has injection molding at four plants in Italy — Agordo, Sedico, Pederobba and Luraiano — with PC lenses also produced at Luriano. Its plant in Dongguan, China, makes both plastic and metal frames along with plastic lenses for sunglasses. A fifth plastic and metal frame plant is in Campinas, Brazil.
About 60 percent of the company's frames are made of plastic, the company says.
(Thanks to PN news editor Rhoda Miel for this post).