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Luxottica’s Rayban and Oakley collaborate with Google Glass

Luxottica has announced today a strategic partnership with Google to develop new wearable devices – this will include products in Luxottica’s flagship brands: Rayban and Oakley. Luxottica’s move seems appropriate in the face of technology innovation, as it gives it the opportunity to continue to dominate the “technology frontier”

It is therefore “easier” for Luxottica – than for Swatch Group – to select a partner in the wearable technology area, and integrate a potential external threat into its business. This is smart, as it allows Luxottica – like in the case of glasses.com – to be ahead of the game and to be at the centre of the category, come what may.

By contrast, Swatch’s decision to foresake smart watches partnerships – and the veto on third party SW in its products – seems a higher risk strategic position. In fact, this could push Swatch in a “catch up mode” in the scenario “smart watches” became disruptive, at least for entry price watches.

Luca Solca, EXANE BNP PARIBAS

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