Google Glass hasn't had a good run of publicity lately. From casinos in Vegas to bars and restaurants in San Francisco, more and more establishments are banning the device. This is not difficult to understand – besides the privacy concerns raised by Glass, it's hard to make your product look cool and sexy when its main users are the kind of people who throw temper tantrums when asked to take it off in public. In fact, some have concluded that it's harder to not look like a total jerk while wearing Glass. A new partnership with Luxottica, which owns Ray-Ban and Oakely, is trying to change all that.
According to Google, Luxottica will design, manufacture and take the lead on distributing Glass-equipped eyewear through its various retail outlets – and it'll start with two of Luxottica's biggest companies, Ray-Ban and Oakley. In a statement on Google+ (obviously), Google said, "(Luxottica) will design and manufacturing expertise to the mix, and, together, we’ll bring even more Glass style choices to our Explorers."
Will this finally succeed in making Glass cool, as Google have been trying desperately to pull off for the last year and a half? In August, Google landed a 12-page spread in American Vogue, in which Steven Klein photographed Raquel Zimmerman as a Glass Explorer outfitted in retro-futurist couture (including this terrifying picture, in which Zimmerman emotionlessly steps over the body of a limp, Glass-less model).
Google tried again earlier this year, with the launch of the Titanium Collection, a fashion-oriented line designed in-house. You can watch the campaign video below:
Unfortunately, all the fashion editorials and design savvy in the world can't save your product if its users gain a reputation for being glassholes. In other words, nobody wants to be the guy sitting by himself in the corner of the pub, muttering "OK Glass" to himself. It remains to be seen if this extensive partnership can help normalise Google Glass – or at least, make it commercially available for people who aren't glassholes.
What do you think – will you ever wear Glass?
Follow Zing Tsjeng on Twitter here @misszing