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Google Glass Products Coming From Ray-Ban Eyewear Maker

March 25 (Bloomberg) -- Google Inc. is partnering with Luxottica Group SpA, which owns eyewear brands Ray-Ban and Oakley, to help the Web company’s Glass eyewear go mainstream.

Luxottica is setting up teams focused on design, development, tooling and engineering of products, the world’s largest maker of eyeglasses said in a statement yesterday. Google’s Glass technology combines a tiny screen, camera and audio on a small device that’s worn at eye level.

Google, seeking new ways to get consumers to use their services on mobile devices, has been stepping up efforts to show how Glass can appeal to a wide audience. While the gadget has received a lot of media attention, it’s also faced challenges, including criticism for its ability to record images or distract users. The Mountain View, California-based company said it plans to release mainstream versions “down the road.”

“Luxottica has built an impressive history over the last 50 years designing, manufacturing and distributing some of the most successful and well-known brands in eyewear today,” Astro Teller, the head of Google X, the lab where Glass was first developed, said in the statement. “We are thrilled to be partnering with them as we look to push Glass and the broader industry forward into the emerging smart eyewear market.”

The Ray-Ban and Oakley brands will be included in the collaboration with Google Glass, the companies said. Google has also partnered with insurer Vision Service Plan Inc. to train eye-care professionals on Glass frames with prescription lenses.

“We live in a world where technological innovation has dramatically changed the way in which we communicate and interact in everything that we do,” Andrea Guerra, chief executive officer of Milan-based Luxottica, said in the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Womack in San Francisco at bwomack1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Pui-Wing Tam at ptam13@bloomberg.net Reed Stevenson, Ben Livesey

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