Gucci, Oakley turning 3D glasses into designer eyewear

3D specs have come a long way from the disposable cheapos from the 1950s, but they're still not quite fashionista-friendly. Apparently there's a need for 3D eye wear with more panache -- at least according to companies like Oakley and Gucci, both of whom are introducing designer glasses that you'll presumably not feel embarrassed wearing.

3D specs have come a long way from the disposable cheapos from the 1950s, but they're still not quite fashionista-friendly. Apparently there's a need for 3D eye wear with more panache -- at least according to companies like Oakley and Gucci, both of whom are introducing designer glasses that you'll presumably not feel embarrassed wearing.

Oakley plans to release a whole line that features "the first 3D eyewear on Earth with optically correct lenses." (I assume elsewhere in the universe they've already been created.) This involves expanding the peripheral viewing angle of the wearer, as well as offering "truer alignment of 3D images" (whatever that is). It also relies on passive polarization rather than the active-shutter technology on which many current 3D HDTVs rely. That means they'll work for movies shown in 3D at theaters, but you'll need to find a compatible set to use them at home. Oakley says it's partnering with home theater companies that will provide passive 3D-based products.

The Oakley specs will be rolled out soon through specialty eye wear stores, and will be more widely available in 2011. Pricing has only been announced for a special set of Tron: Legacy glasses, which will sell for $150. Luxury fashion force Gucci is also selecting the passive-polarized route for its 3D glasses (pictured above), which, like the Oakley's, have a long list of technical advancements that doth protest too much -- e.g., "optically correct 6-base curved lenses with circular polarized technology." One important feature is the ability to look into a mirror with the glasses on and not see a distorted image -- important presumably because Gucci buyers are doing a lot of mirror-gazing. Gucci's glasses will be available next month at its boutiques for a cool $225.

While no one would feel particularly stylish with the current roster of 3D glasses being donned in cinemas and living rooms, is there really a market for designer versions when you're not even wearing them outside? I guess the market will decide that, but I have a feeling 99.9 percent of viewers will stick with the standard-issue glasses when and if they watch 3D video.

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