Eight months after its agreement with Google for the development of Oakley and Ray-Ban frames using Google Glass technology, Luxottica has announced a partnership with Intel in the broader area of wearable technologies, following two years of negotiations.
The multi-year R&D collaboration between the two companies will apply to premium, luxury and sports eyewear. The first smart eyewear from this partnership is expected to be launched in 2015.
According to Reuters, the frames developed with Intel will serve very specific purposes, and will not compete with its existing deal to manufacture and distribute Google Glass frames.
The two companies will set up a joint research laboratory in California to develop future lines of smart glasses under various brands, similar to the new connected watches of Apple and Sony and variety of fitness bracelets already on the market.
Meanwhile, Zeiss has launched a new VR One virtual reality headset in the market. The new device is compatible with both Android and iOS smartphones and works with smartphone screens of between 4.7 and 5.2 inches, which can be positioned in a specially-designed tray holding the handsets in place. Initially, the VR One supports the iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S5 but other models are in the pipeline, although Zeiss has not provided any specific details.
In connection with the VR One, the company has also developed two apps. The Zeiss VR One Media Launcher App allows users to select compatible VR apps and install them on their smartphone. The Zeiss VR One Cinema App is a virtual movie theater in which 3D films can be viewed.
Until Feb. 16, 2015, innovative ideas and visions as well as finished apps can be submitted to the German optical company via an online contest platform. A jury of international experts will then select one winner each in the two categories of “Ideation” and “Apps.”