Two weeks ago I compiled a list of Google’s (GOOG) recent big moves and acquisitions, which made me very hopeful for where the company is going in the near future. A key theme on the list was Google’s push on wearables, as indicated by their potential retail store and SDK kit to facilitate Android programming on non-Google wearables.
Google just revealed another big wearables play with the announcement of a strategic partnership with Luxottica to create “innovative iconic wearable devices.” Luxottica (LUX) is the world’s biggest eyewear company, which owns brands such as Ray-Ban, Oakley, and Persol and controls retail stores LensCrafters and Sunglass Hut. The high-tech designers at Google and fashion designers at Luxottica will team up, and Luxottica will design, develop and distribute new versions of Google’s Web-connected eyewear. There are no details yet on what the glasses will look like or when they will be available.
LUX is up over 3% this morning and GOOG is up almost 1% this morning. In my opinion this is a huge step for Google Glass. One of the biggest impediments to Google Glass is that they are really, really unattractive. Even Katy Perry looks a bit like a trans-galactic nerd in the glasses, which leaves little hope for the rest of us. This partnership will allow Google’s wearables to become more mainstream and look cool, plus provides easy retail distribution for Google via Sunglass Hut and LensCrafters. It’s a great move for both companies.