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Licensed 3D eyewear seen overlapping with designer lines.

Licensed 3D eyewear is a small but growing subset of the market for opthalmic lenses, frames, and sunglasses. Some of the licensed varieties currently available:

* Marchon introduced CK Calvin Klein 3D sunglasses for indoor and outdoor use, based on RealD technology for viewing 3D films and consumer electronics.

* Oakley sold Disney-authorized TRON limited-edition 3D glasses using the licensee's proprietary HDO-3D technology, meant for use in movie theaters.

* Safilo Group launched 3D Eyewear for both A|X Armani Exchange and Gucci, both for use in U.S. cinemas only and both sold exclusively through the respective designers' U.S. boutiques.

* Polaroid Eyewear, which was recently purchased by Safilo and licenses the Polaroid brand from PLR IP Holdings, introduced three lines of 3D eyewear at this month's Consumer Electronics Show. Using circular polarized 3D technology, Polaroid's products are aimed at heavy users, including 3D professionals, producers, and gamers.

Each of these ventures varies in its purpose (films, videogames, television, multi-use), in the underlying technology employed (passive versus active-shutter, etc.), and in format compatibility (RealD, Xpand 3D, FullHD, or others). But all strive to marry a strong brand, whether from fashion or some other relevant sector, to this relatively new category.

Expect to see more licensed examples, as many of the eyewear companies offering 3D lines--including Safilo, Marchon, and Allure, to name a few--also hold a range of designer and other licenses for traditional eyewear. It is likely that the two sectors will increasingly overlap as consumer usage of 3D at home and in theaters grows and as consumers want to use their own 3D glasses rather than disposable or borrowed varieties.

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Title Annotation:FORM + FUNCTION
Publication:Licensing Letter
Date:Feb 6, 2012
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