Google Glass has been mercilessly mocked as clunky and nerdy, despite attempts to associate the pricey device with fashion shows and trendy magazine pieces. A new alliance with Luxottica aims to inject some glamor into the eyeware line. Luxottica is known for its Ray-Ban and Oakley lines of glasses, but also produces Versace, Miu Miu, Chanel and Vogue products. The current $1,500 price of Google Glass places it automatically in the luxury category – but it’s not clear whether the target group of wealthy geeks necessarily has much overlap with the Alain Mikli crowd.
Investors like the collaboration so far because shares of Luxottica rose nearly 5% on news of the Google deal in Milan on Tuesday morning. The dowdy wristwatch and eyeware industries are on the verge of major turmoil as old school manufacturers try to position themselves to face the competition from tech companies that are essentially turning centuries-old products into wearable computers. We are likely to see many strange bedfellows emerge in coming years.