LAFORGE Strikes Partnership to Compete With Google Glass

November 17, 2014

4:30 pm

The Google Glass competitor LAFORGE Optical last week announced the close of a $1.1 million partnership with SOMO Optical to fund lens development, manufacturing development, and LAFORGE’s proprietary camera system development. It’s the first partnership in a series of funding announcements we’ve seen from LAFORGE Optical as part of its series seed investment round.

“The wearable tech revolution is amongst us and we believe all that is missing is a beautiful display” says Corey Mack, CEO of LAFORGE Optical. “It is our vision to bring a sense of taste and fashion to smart glasses while lowering the barriers to entry, this partnership allows us to do that.”

Along with the partnership, LAFORGE Optical will be discontinuing the use of the “Icis” trademark for their line of smart eyewear. According to Mack, the news of the terrorist group ISIS forced them to rebrand their line of smart eyewear, and they’ll be releasing the new name of their line in the coming weeks after finishing their trademark filings.

Also as part of the deal, LAFORGE Optical will be relocating their headquarters from Los Angeles to San Mateo, CA. The company wants to centralize the team and tap into the best possible tech talent they can get their hands on.

“Over the past few months we have talked to many players in the eyewear space from Labs, to designer labels, to large distributors and they share our enthusiasm for the product,” says Mack. “We are honored that a company with a long history of success and innovation in the ophthalmic space, SOMO Optical, has decided to join us in this journey”

LAFORGE Optical will be replacing their former CTO with Bill Kokonaski, the former CTO of PixelOptics. He’ll be responsible for managing product development and reinforcing the company’s intellectual property strategy.

The company will also be adding Franklin Rice as its COO and VP of Finance. Rice the current CFO of Epalex, and he’ll be responsible for assisting the company it fundraising efforts and with regulatory issues.

“Once we realized that his lens technology could yield smart eyewear that looked like conventional eyewear, I knew that this was an opportunity where SOMO Optical could add value,” says Eddy Shin, CEO of SOMO Optical. “Our team is very excited and has already produced a number of lens samples with the LAFORGE technology embedded in them.”



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Will is a Senior Writer with Tech.Co, based out of America's Finest City: San Diego. He covers all territory West of the Mississippi river, digging deep for awesome local entrepreneurs, companies, and ideas. He's the resident Android junkie and will be happy to tell you why you should switch to the OS. When he's off the clock, Will focuses his literary talent on the art of creative writing...or you might find him surfing in Ocean Beach. Follow Will on Twitter @WJS1988

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