And, as it turns out, they’ve been working on them for some time now. In a phone interview with Bloomberg, Oakley CEO Colin Baden confirmed that the company has been working on their own version of smart glasses for 15 years – yes, that puts the beginning stages squarely in the ’90s. That’s going to be an impressive step up from one of Oakley’s previous entries into the world of tech-infused eyewear.
Baden revealed that while Oakley’s product aims to be similar in function to Google’s Project Glass, their smart glasses, if they ever reach market, will be aimed at athletes first and foremost. Oakley would then pursue further options, with Baden stating,
That’s the halo point of where we would begin, but certainly you can transcend that into a variety of other applications.
I say “if” because of what was maybe the most interesting thing Baden had to say about Oakley’s research on smart glasses – that Oakley currently owns 600 patents, many of which are relevant to that technology. Baden says Oakley would not be against licensing those patents – perhaps in an attempt to drop a subtle hint to a certain tech company.
After all, it’s hard to believe Oakley has the technological capabilities to compete with Google in this field. At the same time, it’s unlikely that Google can top Oakley’s fashion sense. Sounds like a fruitful marriage, should it ever come to pass. It would indeed be a good idea for Google to remember a fine point that Baden brings up in that phone interview,
People get very particular when they put stuff on their face.