Google Glass has been praised, anticipated, mocked, and put into a negative light. In some cases, the negative views come from people who are unwilling to grow or adapt to new technology. Though it’s even more off putting when that someone is a partner on the tech in question. That was just the case when the founder of Luxottica made a comment (that was later said to be a joke) about Google Glass-the tech his company has teamed up with Google to help create.
Leonardo Del Vecchio, founder controlling shareholder of Luxottica made a difficult to understand joke about Google Glass. Luxottica is the parent company behind popular frame makers such as Oakley or Ray-Ban. They have partnered with Google to make beautiful frames for Google Glass to help make the product consumer ready. This could make their partnership one of the most important ones for Google Glass to take off publicly. However, during an interview with the Financial Times, Del Vecchio was quoted saying, “I have not used Google Glass, it would embarrass me going around with that on my face. It would be OK in the disco, but I no longer go to the Disco.” Speaking of his age, Del Vecchio noted that he is 79 years old, and that the partnership between his company and Google will only succeed finds a way to improve Google Glass technology to make it more acceptable in society. “We at Luxottica know how to make the frames, we know how to make them beautiful, we can call them Ray-Ban, or Oakley, we can put the names of our brands, we can make them light and of quality, but in order to do that Google needs to make a step forward [to broaden the technology’s appeal].”
After the report from the Financial Times was released, a spokesman for Luxottica aimed to clear the air, “Mr. Del Vecchio was making a joke about his age. Luxottica is completely committed to its partnership with Google and we have a team working flat out to be ready to launch the device in 2015.”
Luxottica has been growing through some growing pains recently which may have attributed to the joke. Andrea Guerra, now former Chief Executive of Luxottica only recently stepped down. During the announcement of Guerra’s departure, the co-CEO, Enrico Cavatorta mentioned how Luxottica is still committed to Google Glass. Cavatorta also noted that they are proud to be in the exclusive agreement with Google to produce frames for Google Glass.
In response to the “joke”, Google said, “we look forward to working closely with Luxottica as we bring the consumer version to market.” However, in the statement made by the spokesman for Luxottica, it didn’t go unnoticed that the year given for a release was 2015. This is the first time anyone related to the project has mentioned a 2015 launch date for Glass. In the past, Google cofounder Sergey Brin has only said as far as a release date goes, we’ll be seeing Glass on shelves in by the end of 2014, “give or take a bit.”