Luxury designers launch 3D glasses for the holiday season

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Oakley isn't the only eyewear manufacturer that wants a slice of the 3D glasses market. Hardly a month after Oakley unveiled its $150 3D shades, three more upscale designers have announced that they will launch their own stylish, brand name alternatives to the generic plastic 3D glasses recycled at theatres.

Armani Exchange and Gucci are both debuting sleek unisex 3D eyewear, intended for indoor cinema use only, featuring optically-correct six-base curved lenses with circular polarized technology. The main difference between the two models lies in their price tags, given their similar designs. Armani's navigator-style lenses are priced at $58 a pair while Gucci's shiny black aviator-shaped glasses are more steeply priced, at $225 a pair. Both will be available for sale by yearend at select boutiques.

Business-wise, it's a smart move for the two brands. 3D films are becoming increasingly popular both among audiences given their high entertainment value as well as among movie makers given their lucrative potential. A study released by the Los Angeles-based International 3D Society in March 2010 shows opening weekend 3D ticket revenues in the US outpacing 2D ticket sales by a margins of 2 to 1. Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland generated over $81 million dollars on 3D screens versus just $34 million in 2D ticket revenues, for example.

Meanwhile, ck Calvin Klein Eyewear is offering a slightly different product than its competitors: 3D sunglasses. The eyewear, created with the 3D technology provider Marchon3D, will be available in three men's and three women's styles. Priced at $180 a pair, they will go on sale at select boutiques this December. The glasses feature curved lens technology, allowing for greater image immersion, and photochromic transition lens which allows users to wear their glasses both indoors and outdoors.