For those of you not familiar with the current state of eyeglass manufacturing and brands, Luxottica basically has a damn-near monopoly on the sunglasses and eyeglasses business. They not only own the brands of Oakley and Ray Ban, but they also own the largest outlets of sunglasses and eyeglasses in the US with their Pearle Vision, Lenscrafters and Sunglasses hut subsidiaries. As if owning all of that wasn’t enough, they pretty much design and manufacture almost all designer sunglasses and eyeglasses for almost all of the name brands in the world. So, naturally, Google would want to come to them to make Google Glass less, well, fugly.
As you can tell, Google glass is not attractive nor symmetrical, which in most human beings’ perception of attractiveness is actually very important. This makes their announcement of a partnership with Luxottica a fairly natural progression.
Even with the assistance of a model, Google simply couldn’t make Glass look natural on a person, which is probably one of their biggest boundaries to mainstream adoption.
So, it seems natural that they would look to bring Glass to the masses after they redesigned it a bit, at least visually. If they can integrate Glass into a standard appearing pair of glasses from a major manufacturer of glasses, then they have moved one step closer to broad adoption. While I’m not entirely sold on Glass in the state that it is currently in, I do believe that once they improve the hardware specifications and reduce the overall bulkiness and ugly-factor, they can expect broad adoption. And, they will probably be able to sell them for a lot more than what normal glasses would already sell for through an optometrist. Not to mention, they would probably have much better prescription offerings than they do right now.
Clearly, this is just another step for Google in their goal to make Glass more mainstream. It will be interesting to see when they will release a version of Google Glass that isn’t running on a 3+ year old set of technologies. I simply cannot believe that Google is able to convince people to spend $1,500 on technology that anyone would consider antique by today’s smartphone standards. Sure, the price is artificially high to keep ‘regular’ non-serious people out, but other than the price, Google Glass isn’t all that impressive yet.