The fervour and seeming inevitability with which 3D TV technology is being marketed by TV manufacturers and retailers have certainly made leaders in other industries sit up and take notice. Luxottica Group, the biggest eyewear company in the world, signified its intent to establish a first-mover advantage and capture a significant share of the fledgling 3D eyewear market by announcing that it will start selling prescription 3D glasses later this year.
Italy-based Luxottica owns some of the world’s most famous eyewear brands such as Ray-Ban and Oakley, and also manufactures sunglasses and prescription glasses for designer labels like Prada, Chanel, Burberry, DKNY, Versace and many others. The company plans to release a range of 3D glasses fitted with prescription lenses – a world first – under its Oakley house brand, which may appeal to consumers who find current 3D glasses too cumbersome or unfashionable to wear over their existing prescription glasses.
In a press release statement, Luxottica revealed that to develop these prescription 3D glasses, the company has been working together with some of the major players in the 3D TV industry, including DreamWorks Animation who kindly provided lab facilities for testing the designed products.
Luxottica Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Andrea Guerra expressed his pride in his company’s technological achievement, which not only provides optically accurate prescription lenses for superb visual clarity when watching 3D content, but also maximises the visual field thanks to the “wrapped curvature” frame design. Extension of the peripheral viewing angle delivers a better panoramic experience without requiring head turning nor compromising depth-of-field.
Initially designed to work only with passive 3D TVs, these Oakley prescription 3D glasses will be distributed through premium optical outlets in the USA towards the end of 2010, with a worldwide launch scheduled for next year. Retail pricing details remain unknown, but Luxottica is said to be also interested in securing partnership deals with consumer electronics manufacturers within the 3D industry to shift the prescription 3D glasses, which may see them bundled with 3DTV and related hardware packages.