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Google Glass Signs Deal With Ray Ban's Parent Company 125

sfcrazy (1542989) writes with news that fancier Google Glasswear is coming soon "Google has signed a deal with The Luxottica Group, the world's largest eyewear company (controlling 80% of the eyewear market). Luxottica owns Ray-Ban, Oakley, Vogue-Eyewear, Persol, Oliver Peoples, Alain Mikli, and Arnette. The deal shows how serious Google is about Glass, contrary to the skepticism raised by high-profiled users like Robert Scoble who spelled doom for the device."
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Google Glass Signs Deal With Ray Ban's Parent Company

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  • fuck me (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Chrisq ( 894406 )
    At this rate Google will be the new Apple. Overpriced designer products that rely on being the "in thing" anyone?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I don't like Apple that much, but they've done way more than Google ever has. Apple have been experts at user-friendly integration: remember, after all, that the user of their products - unlike in Google's case - is also the customer. If you want an idea of what happens when Google is left to design something, you only have to look at Google+ or... well... yes, Google Glass.

      Google's only innovation of interest has been their PageRank algorithm. Everything since then has been a bought-out or an also-ran.

      • Google's only innovation of interest has been their PageRank algorithm. Everything since then has been a bought-out or an also-ran.

        What about gmail & google docs?

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Docs was at least partly based on Google's acquisition of Upstartle, though Google have added substantially to it since. It isn't that unique though. MS Office Web-apps and others offer much of the same. Gmail was developed internally, but I would argue that the main driver for success was the marketing genius of offering 1 GB storage and large attachments at at time when others had like 2MB which was constant pain-point for users. And the invite-only launch, which not only generated interest and demand, bu
        • by fisted ( 2295862 )
          Didn't they also invent HTML formulars and Text input fields? Pretty sure i've seen them at google for the first time
          • I'm sorry, are you being serious or sarcastic? I'm guessing sarcastic, but it almost sounds serious

            • by fisted ( 2295862 )
              Sounding serious is how to play sarcasm well :). In related news, pretty sure google invented sarcasm, too.
          • by aliquis ( 678370 )

            Didn't they also invent HTML formulars and Text input fields? Pretty sure i've seen them at google for the first time

            Did Apple intervent the operating-system, the network, programming, tablets, the smartphone, the mp3-player, high resolution screens, media players, wifi access points, optical audio transfer, .. ?

      • What exactly is wrong with Google+ aside from being late to the game? It brought profile control options not seen at Facebook at the time, Hangouts (not seen on Facebook), and other features that were either improved in G+ or introduced. As for the "acquired" thing, let's not forget that nearly every single piece of technology Apple has "invented" already existed in some form or fashion in academia circles years (or decades) before Apple combined them into a single device. Google "pinch-to-zoom". Oh sorry,
    • I do not want to fuck you. Unless you are a pretty girl that is over 21.
    • I'm no fan of Apple, but they NEVER spied on people as their primary business model. Google are a fucking nest of spies, pardon my French. They once were the luminaries who pulled the world wide web from a mess of near unsearchable data into an ordered scalable whole. Then they bought Doubleclick, and Doubleclick blackened their hearts and swallowed them whole, from the inside out. RIP Google of old, and FOAD.
      • If selling your search terms to advertisers were not in the business model, how much would you be willing to pay for Google? $50 a month? $100? Would you go back to 'looking things up' at libraries, as our ancestors did, or just stumbling around being wrong about basic facts most of the time?

        • by vux984 ( 928602 )

          how much would you be willing to pay for Google?

          How much does google search really make off me? I'd probably be willing to pay that in exchange for an ad free experience.


          $30 per YEAR... $2.50 per month. Yeah, I'd pay that much.

          And realistically, my own value is even less. I use search and maps daily, but I don't use google drive, or google apps, or hangouts. I watch stuff on youtube, but not daily. I have a gmail account, but don't use it much. (my android phone is connect

        • If selling your search terms to advertisers were not in the business model, how much would you be willing to pay for Google? $50 a month? $100?

          About 1/3rd of my internet bill, eg $20 per month. Lots of telecoms companies can survive on that amount. But given that I've been around the internet before Google even existed, I'm perfectly capable of imagining alternatives that don't require paying Google $100 to come up with products and services I don't use.

    • by LoRdTAW ( 99712 )

      "Overpriced designer products that rely on being the "in thing" anyone?"

      I suspect that I will not care any more about the "in thing" than I already do.

  • by captainpanic ( 1173915 ) on Tuesday March 25, 2014 @05:18AM (#46572127)

    Many people wear cheap sunglasses - I guess "80% of the eyewear market" is in terms of value, not volume, since 1 Ray-ban costs about as much as 100 cheap sunglasses?

    • by jonwil ( 467024 )

      If you wear prescription glasses, the number is probably higher because very few people are going to buy expensive prescription lenses and put them into cheap frames.

      • expensive lenses? oh, you live in US, land of health care for the rich, emergency rooms for the common folk

        • by jonwil ( 467024 )

          No, I live in Australia where my last pair of prescription sunglasses cost a fortune, not all of which my private health fund Optical cover paid back.
          I very nearly went with a pair of Ray-Ban frames actually but a different shop offered me a good deal.

        • Most of the people in the country can walk into walmart and get two pairs of decent glasses for $100, including the optometrist fee.

          Mind you, some people have problems that the guy at walmart can't help. (I had to go to the Mayo clinic and have surgery just to get back to reasonable so they could try to put glasses on me, muscles around my eye are stupid and cause it to be misshaped, but now I can go to walmart if I choose :) but for the majority of the country with only minor vision problems, $100 and le

      • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

        Expensive lenses? sounds like someone doesn't know about Zenni optical. I refuse to buy my glasses from the optician. I get my prescription and then order them from the same place he orders them from.

        Most expensive lenses I ever bought are on my face now. Nikon Eyes lenses with every single coating available. (Note: the anti dirt coatings last only 2 months, do not bother getting them.)

        $60.00 for the lenses, $30 for the frames that have the magnetic sunglasses that match them perfectly.

    • by nemasu ( 1766860 )
      Maybe they don't consider cheap sunglasses part of the eye wear market ... OR more likely there's so many different cheap sun glass makers they're too fragmented to own any decent amount of market share.
    • by RocketSW ( 1447313 ) on Tuesday March 25, 2014 @06:31AM (#46572313)

      Luxoticca not only owns a wide range of premium and "budget" eyewear brands (prescription glasses and sunglasses), they also own LensCrafters. Pearle vision, sears optical, target optical, and Sunglass Hut to name a few. Additionally they own the vision insurance company EyeMed.

      The word "monopoly" comes to mind.

      There was a 60 minutes piece about this not too long ago: []

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 25, 2014 @06:56AM (#46572399)

        Google getting in bed with Luxottica is probably about as close to being evil as I've considered from them, honestly. I don't care about the "I am a product" aspect of Google's business model, because it has never inconvenienced me and I don't feel like I have some magical nature that means I suffer for having this targeted to a profile of me that they've made. I like what Google does, it makes my life easier and even though they might not have the best usability in a lot of cases, it's acceptable.

        But Luxottica are just plain bastards. Got an optical practice and want to sell Ray-Bans? Sure, just sell a bunch of crap you don't want, too. Want to have your own practice? Now you're competing with a vendor but on multiple levels. They're a bunch of monopolistic bastards, and Google just jumped into bed with the worst fucks in that industry. Thanks, Google.

      • by haruchai ( 17472 )

        I watched that recently and was astonished at their stranglehold on the market. Kudos to 60 Minutes for digging this up.

    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

      Only if you are dumb and buy them at a boutique. you can get RayBan at wholesale prices all over the place. go to Shen-Wa's upscale sunglasses emporium and try them on, then go order off of or other places that don't sell them for the 3500% markup that is MSRP

    • That would be 80% in terms of clear or tinted eye coverings secured by a frame resting on the nose and ears. Luxottica doesn't just own rayban. They own all the "designer" brands too. They also do the actual designing. Burberry, calvin klein, etc are all produced and designed by luxottica (albeit with some input from said brands). When Oakley resisted a luxottica buyout their stock plummeted, forcing them to sell. If I needed glasses I'd be concerned that my clear vision depends entirely on a single company
  • by Chas ( 5144 )

    So we can pay even MORE to be glassholes?


    • ...and how does Google dumping money into something make it un-doomed? It can still fail just as badly as before.

    • Actually, if you think about it ... it makes perfect sense.

      Glassholes are EXACTLY the type of people who wear shit like Ray Ban and Oakleys instead of the $20 pair at Walmart.

  • Luxotica (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bl968 ( 190792 ) on Tuesday March 25, 2014 @07:04AM (#46572435) Journal

    I posted this story a few years ago about Luxotica...

    What makes glasses so expensive? Oblong plastic lenses? Plastic and metal frames? No, we’re getting screwed!

    Those of us who need prescription eyewear need prescription eyewear. Are you wearing yours to read this? Imagine if you weren’t. Imagine life without your glasses for a year, a week, an hour. Yet many health insurance plans, especially for the unemployed or self-employed, don’t cover them.

    http://www.clarksvilleonline.c... []

    • The reason most individual health insurance plans don't cover them is because the only people who would pay for such insurance are those who know they need glasses. Needing glasses (for the most part) isn't something that just appears out of no where. Nobody is going to pay for insurance that includes glasses if they don't need glasses.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I can't see a significant demographic of people wanting to spend this amount of money to wear glasses. Usability/utility is going to be a far bigger issue than any of the potential technical or social problems. Contact lenses and laser eye surgery are around because most people would rather *not* wear glasses and most people only wear their sunglasses when they need to. Glasses are simply not convenient. I have't seen any features in Glass that's going to compel the masses to want spend this kind of cash to

    • by MrMickS ( 568778 )

      I wear glasses to read, I'm wearing them now. I don't need to wear glasses for anything else yet. Casting my eyes around the office, over the glasses because they are distant, I can see a fair few people in glasses. So perhaps there is a market for glasses after all. Google Glass I can't see a use for though.

      • Spectacles are often preferable to laser surgery and contacts if you need vision correction. No eyewear at all is still preferable for most if you need no correction, though. I'm not sure there's a huge market for frames that only exist to hold up a little screen. Frankly, if they're so committed to glasses-wearers, they should come up with a version with a universal mount and adjustable fitting to sit on ordinary frames.

        That seems like the most obvious thing in the world, short of taking the idea and trans

  • > The deal shows how serious Google is about Glass contrary to the skepticism raised by high-profiled users like Robert Scoble who spelled doom for the device.

    How do you get from there to this? So they signed a deal with Ray Ban. So what? Does this suddenly mean Scoble has to publish a retraction?

    More astroturfing. NSA and now this.

    • by Xest ( 935314 )

      It's just confirmation that Scoble is still an irrelevant douche.

      Slashdot needs this kind of reconfirmation every once in a while.

    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

      Scoble is irrelevant. he is as accurate as a random blogger.

    • by fermion ( 181285 )
      These people control Sunglass hut. They not are able to integrate the glasses into current and future products, they are able to provide a retail channel to market and promote them. They are able to provide incentives to specifically push the products to customers. This solves a problem with the original Android phone, in which end users had no way of interacting with the physical phone. Most who bought it did so soly on the Google name.

      Of course, at $1750, which is basically what they device with fram

  • They want to deploy more spy droids. The spies can turn on your webcam now. I bet google glasses are tapped.

  • Not just Glassholes, but stylish Glassholes.
  • Yay! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Maury Markowitz ( 452832 ) on Tuesday March 25, 2014 @08:33AM (#46572827) Homepage

    So one near monopoly with 80% market share is getting together with another near monopoly with a 90% market share?

    What could possibly go wrong?

    • You can never have a monopoly on a web page, at least not without the ISPs help. If someone made a better search engine I would switch immediately. It's just very hard to do that. The only barriers to entry are talent and money.
      • > You can never have a monopoly on a web page

        Balogna. Google has content that they have captured both themselves and from other people that they use to feed their search results. Examples include AdWords, Books and YouTube. Since those two already exist, and block competitors from getting the data, you will find it very difficult to make a search engine that comes anywhere near as close to being as good. You'll have access to public works, but not the private ones that Google has swallowed.

        • Not being easy doesn't make it a monopoly. You could start your own AdWords, Books and YouTube (but with blackjack and hookers) .
  • I thought they DIDN'T want douchebags wearing their products?
  • .... but only when they can make one with a battery that actually lasts at least 12 hours, and in a form factor that doesn't make me look like I'm trying to look like I'm from some kind of 70's version of the 21st century or something.

    I wear glasses already... if they can fit the technology into a form factor that does not substantially change the appearance of what I already wear on my face, I may be interested once they can improve the battery life.

    I am not, however, interested in any way, shape or f

  • by Larry_Dillon ( 20347 ) <dillon,larry&gmail,com> on Tuesday March 25, 2014 @11:06AM (#46574021) Homepage

    The Luxottica Group is the recognized leader in over priced eye-ware.

  • I avoid Luxottica eyewear, because they have monopolized the industry and hurt small producers. They are on a constant buying binge to buy-up any producer that might gain some traction in showrooms, and make monopolistic demands on retailers.

    They make (IMO) poor-quality eyewear at inflated prices. Most of the "designer" labels they make agreements with seem to be OK with this. BTW, you should be able to get any Luxottica products on line for at least half off of retail, because the prices are so inflated. Y

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