There's nothing like some kung-fu and some Ray-Bans to spice up your style, especially when you're trying to sell nerdy wearable technology. That's the best explanation for two moves Google made this week to promote Google Glass as the next big thing for young trend-setters.
Google announced today that they signed a deal with Luxottica, the company that makes Ray-Ban and Oakley sunglasses, to design and sell new Google Glass styles. A statement from the companies says the plan is to mix "high-end technology with avant-garde design" in producing some new stylish frames.
Google Glass has attempted to produce hipper frames recently, including the reveal of its "Bold" look in late January (right). Those Warby Parker-esque dark frames were one of four suggested glasses released at the time, all designed by people within the company. This latest deal with Luxottica gives Glass a bit of association with popular brand names, so even if they look similar to Google's original offerings, they have the added cachet of that Ray-Ban or Oakley logo.
In other Google news, company headquarters in California got a visit from a group of Chinese Shaolin monks, the masters of kung-fu. Led by abbot Shi Yongxin, the group tried on Google Glass and answered other questions from Google employees about their lifestyle in a cultural exchange. It also, coincidentally, produce the great photo-op of a robed monk trying on Glass.
If this all leads to a first-person video of Shaolin martial arts wearing Glass in the style of Ray-Ban shades, then everybody wins.