Safilo is giving smart glasses a try. The eyewear specialist said Tuesday that it is introducing a new high-tech Carrera model in partnership with Amazon, equipped with smart features courtesy of Alexa, the latter company’s virtual assistant technology.
Dropping exclusively in the U.S., the smart glasses, available in two designs, feature open-ear technology allowing the wearer to engage in hands-free, ear plug-less phone conversations and media playback for six hours.
“Safilo has always looked to the future with an innovative approach, and this is why we are very proud to collaborate with Amazon on this innovative project, offering our Italian design and the unique style of Carrera Eyewear,” said Angelo Trocchia, chief executive officer of Safilo Group, which owns the Carrera and Polaroid brands and designs and manufactures under license for a roster of fashion brands including, among others, Carolina Herrera, David Beckham, Hugo Boss and Tommy Hilfiger.
“Furthermore, we are proud to combine our well-established traditional wholesale distribution model — which encompasses eye care retailers, chains, department stores, specialized retailers and boutiques — with Amazon’s incredible online distribution,” he added.
“Safilo delivers expertise in the eyewear industry and Carrera’s iconic frame designs are a natural fit for smart eyewear and builds upon our vision for Alexa and ambient intelligence. With the new Carrera Smart Glasses, we’re offering customers even more options for stylish smart eyewear,” said Jean Wang, director smart eyewear at Amazon.
This marks Amazon’s first attempt at heightening the fashion credentials of its smart glasses project. The online giant had already introduced its own audio-only smart glasses, known as Echo Frames.
Although tech companies have been somewhat prolific in this field, with Snap launching its Spectacles camera glasses that already count a high-end fashion collab with Gucci, unveiled in 2019, and Bose introducing Frames, embedded with an open-ear audio formula, for example, fashion-leaning eyewear players have stayed quieter. A few exceptions include Ray-Ban Stories, a joint effort of the EssilorLuxottica-owned brand and Meta, and South Korean buzzy label Gentle Monster’s connected eyewear developed in tandem with Huawei.