Google Glass has style makeover, with sleek frames to counter geek factor

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 March, 2014, 10:44pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 March, 2014, 1:25pm

Google is hoping to make its internet-connected eyewear more stylish as part of a partnership with the makers of Ray-Ban and Oakley frames.

The alliance with Italian eyewear company Luxottica, announced on Monday, represents Google's latest attempt to make wearable technology look less geeky as it tries to develop new ways to ensure people can stay connected to the internet wherever they go. Last week, Google disclosed that fashion accessory maker Fossil Group was working on an internet-connected wristwatch that runs Google's Android software for mobile devices.

Luxottica will develop frames equipped with Google Glass, a computing device that includes a thumbnail-sized screen above the wearer's right eye to view internet content. The US$1,500 gadget also includes a camera that can take hands-free pictures and video, a feature that has raised privacy concerns.

Google so far has only sold Glass to a group of test subjects known as "Explorers", who have frequently been mocked for wearing the futuristic eyewear.

Luxottica is expected to help broaden the appeal of Glass. Google is also planning to tap into the more than 5,000 stores that Luxottica runs in the US to help sell Glass once the device is released on the general market.

Google still has not spelled out when Glass will be broadly available, although the Mountain View, California-based company is still aiming for later this year.

More than 10,000 people have bought Glass as part of the Explorer programme.

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