Google roundup: Glass/Luxottica, cloud services, travel ads

|By:, SA News Editor

Google (GOOG) is partnering with Luxottica (LUX), owner of Ray-Ban, Oakley, and other high-end sunglass brands, to create new Google Glass eyewear. Euromonitor estimates Luxottica had a 12.4% share of the global eyewear market in 2012.

The deal follows one with health insurance provider VSP that has led to the release of $225 prescription frames that work with Glass, and could help the display glasses address their oft-discussed image problem. Google recently defended Glass by trying to address 10 "myths" related to it.

In a talk with Wired, Google exec Urs Hölzle argues his company's unmatched infrastructure scale will give it an edge over time (in pricing and other areas) in the cloud infrastructure market against 800-lb. gorilla Amazon (AMZN).

He also suggests a pending update will fuse the ability of Google's App Engine (cloud app platform) to automatically scale workloads with the flexibility of its Compute Engine (cloud computing) to support various languages, software libraries, and frameworks. Forrester, for its part, thinks Google is still "playing catchup" in terms of matching Amazon's feature set.

Evercore's Ken Sena has upped his Google PT to $1,450 from $1,400, while talking up the potential of Google's travel ad offerings to be adopted by hoteliers looking for an alternative to online travel agencies (already major Google ad clients).

Sena thinks search and other channels are allowing hoteliers to make better use of opaque pricing, and to leverage their customer data. He argues Google's Hotel Price Ads could in time take off the way its Product Listing Ads have.