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Virtual Sunglasses Hangout at the Hut

Four Ways That Google Has an Eye on the Future - DJK


1) Sunglass Hut Launching Partnership With Google

VIRTUAL MAKEOVER: Sunglass Hut is breaking digital ground. Today, the retailer launched a new partnership with Google in which it will offer its customers a try-on experience via Google+ Hangouts. It is the first retailer to tap into the online platform in this way.

“I wanted Sunglass Hut to offer a new online shopping experience where people could interact while trying on sunglasses together,” said Fabio d’Angelantonio, the retailer’s president and chief marketing officer at Luxottica. The initiative ties into Sunglass Hut’s “Wow Mom” Mother’s Day campaign launched last month, which features global brand ambassador Georgia May Jagger and her mother, Jerry Hall. The two appear in an entertaining instructional video that demonstrates the new try-on experience.

D’Angelantonio said, “Now you can call your mom, wish her a happy Mother’s Day and help her find the perfect pair of sunglasses.”



2) Separately, Google signed a deal that could allow its Glass wearable computing device to go mainstream. The company has announced a partnership with Luxottica, the eyewear manufacturer behind a host of brands including Ray-Ban and Oakley, to design and produce an exclusive collection of eyeglass frames that incorporate the technology. To start, the deal will be limited to the US market, and focus on Ray-Ban and Oakley. According to a Luxottica press release, the first collection will "combine high-end technology with avant-garde design offering the best in style, quality, and performance."

According to a Google-provided FAQ, design will be a joint effort between Luxottica and Google, while Luxottica will handle manufacturing and distribution. The FAQ doesn't say, however, when the resulting new versions of Google Glass might hit the market. It might not be anytime soon: "You're not going to see Glass on your favorite Oakleys or Ray-Bans tomorrow, but today marks the start of a new chapter in Glass's design," reads a Google+ post.

3) Note too, that The one day sale of Google Glass to the public, April 15, 2014, has come to a close and, according to the company, all of the available headsets have been claimed.

4) Finally, Google has a new patent application with the US Patent Office, which takes one of the basic concepts of Glass and extends it even further, embedding tiny cameras that could be embedded in contact lenses for various uses, including photographing what a wearer sees, or providing the basic input for a contact-based assistive device for the visually impaired.

Google has previously detailed a plan to build smart contacts that measure blood glucose levels in diabetics to provide non-invasive, constant feedback to both a wearer and potentially their doctor, too. This new system describes uses that could also benefit the medical community, like using input from the camera to spot obstacles and alert a wearer who has vision problems as to their whereabouts. They could also offer up vision augmentation for people with all types of ocular health, and even act as a next-gen platform for a Glass-like computing experience.

- David J. Katz

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