Wearable Tech

Google Glass Will Collaborate With Ray-Ban to Dorkify the Classic Frames We All Love

Face computers are just as American as apple pie, you see.
Cooling.

Cooling.

Google Glass may be a world-changing tech innovation, but the device is having a hard time breaking into the mainstream. It could be the $1,500 price tag. It could be the questionable sanity and social skills of the people wearing it. And it could just be how dorky it looks.

So Google’s making yet another bid to de-dorkify the face computer by partnering with the jarringly named “Luxottica,” which is not an upscale porn company, but an eyewear brand that owns Ray-Ban, Oakley and Persol, Elle reports.

The brand also has licenses for Chanel, Burberry and Prada glasses, but Luxottica’s release on the matter only mentions that Ray-Ban and Oakley will be part of the Glass collaboration, Elle says.

The main issue here is the wide disparity between what Ray-Bans and Oakleys mean to the American public.

Ray-Ban stands for driving cross-country in a cool old car with a hot, scruffy male model next to you. Plop Google Glass on a pair of Wayfarers, and there is a tiny chance that they’ll downplay the dork factor. Still, the folks at Ray-Ban aren’t miracle workers, and no amount of James Dean hipness can negate the fact that you’re wearing a computer on your face.

Oakley, on the other hand, stands for that annoying guy in your night school class who still wears carpenter jeans, works at a mall kiosk, and is really into jet-skiing. Pair this with Glass and you might as well also start using a wallet chain (or this), wearing a fedora and calling prospective dates “m’lady.”

Sadly, neither of these two safe-to-the-point-of-boring brands have what it takes to make Glass cool. Uniting Glass with classic, sporty brands doesn’t really make sense; it’s a freaking computer that you mount on your head. It will never be classic.

Instead, the best way for the face computer to worm its way into the hearts of trendsetters would be for Google to partner with a bizarre European fashion house. Create some truly out-there, Lady Gaga-esque Glasses of the Future, and you’ll be practically beating pop stars and college-dropout-trust-funders away with a stick. For instance, imagine a platinum Glass affixed to this Versace number:

(Screengrab via versace.com)

(Screengrab via versace.com)

That’s some wearable tech we could live with.

Follow Molly Mulshine on Twitter or via RSS. mmulshine@observer.com