Italian eyewear maker Luxottica working on new version of Google Glass

By on August 1, 2015
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The partnership with the U.S. tech giant to build Glass—the Internet-connected eyewear—is going ahead, said Massimo Vian, speaking at the company’s general meeting in Milan, Italy.

Earlier this year, Google stopped selling the first version of Glass and shut its Explorer program, moving the project out of its Google X research lab into a standalone unit. Yet the firm made clear that it was still working to make the eyewear ready for users.

The changes sparked speculation that Google would abandon Glass. However, Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt  told The Wall Street Journal that it has been put under the watch of Tony Fadell, head of Google’s Nest connected home division, “to make it ready for users.”

Luxottica’s Mr. Vian, who recently was in California to meet Glass’ new team, didn’t give any details about specific timing for the launch of the next version of the product; the initial version had been criticized for invasion of privacy issues because the glasses allowed wearers to record video and take photos unobtrusively.  Google sold the device to the public in mid-2014, but sales were low.

“In Google, there are some second thoughts on how to interpret version 3 [of the eyewear],” Mr. Vian told shareholders. “What you saw was version 1. We’re now working on version 2, which is in preparation.”

A Google spokeswoman said “the team is heads down building the future of the product,” but declined to comment on specifics.

Glass chief Ivy Ross in January said the updated gadget will be cheaper and have longer battery life, improved sound quality and a better display. Google is also trying to tackle the social stigma of Glass by pairing the device with more familiar types of eyewear.

Source: wall street journal

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