Oakley Inc. is developing technology that can project information directly onto lenses, putting the sunglass maker into potential competition with Google Inc.
The technology would let Oakley, a division of Italy’s Luxottica Group SpA (LUX), make hardware that’s comparable with Google’s Project Glass, an experimental effort to build smartphone features into eyewear, Oakley Chief Executive Officer Colin Baden said in an interview.
“As an organization, we’ve been chasing this beast since 1997,” Baden said. “Ultimately, everything happens through your eyes, and the closer we can bring it to your eyes, the quicker the consumer is going to adopt the platform.”
Oakley has been working on technology related to heads-up displays for about 15 years, and has 600 patents, many of which apply to optical specifications, Baden said. The company would consider licensing the patents, he said.