UPDATE 3-Ray-Ban maker Luxottica to bring Google Glass to wider market
* Luxottica to design, develop, distribute new Glass eyewear
* New glasses expected to hit the market in 2015 - CEO
* Luxottica shares climb 4 percent (Recasts with details, analyst comment)
By Stephen Jewkes
MILAN, March 25 (Reuters) - Google has teamed up with Ray-Ban maker Luxottica in a bid to turn its Internet-connected Glass spectacles into a widely-available, stylish consumer product.
In a statement late on Monday, Luxottica, the world's biggest eyewear maker, said it had agreed to design, develop and distribute Glass eyewear, which so far has only been available as an expensive prototype in the United States.
Google Glass is a small stamp-sized screen attached to a pair of spectacle frames. It can record video, access email, and retrieve information from the Web by connecting wirelessly to a user's cell phone.
The deal will allow Italy's Luxottica to be first to showcase the new technology to millions of potential consumers, although Google has yet to surmount challenges such as battery life and privacy concerns.
"We believe the challenge of convincing consumers to wear computers on their face is a fashion problem as much as it is a technology problem," said UBS analyst Fred Speirs of the logic of the tie-up between Google and Luxottica. Continued...