Google is hoping to make its Internet-connected eyewear more stylish as part of a partnership with the makers of Ray-Ban and Oakley frames. The alliance with Italian eyewear company Luxottica Group announced Monday represents Google’s latest attempt to make wearable technology look less geeky. Luxottica will develop frames equipped with Google Glass, a $1,500 computing device that includes a thumbnail-sized screen above the wearer’s right eye to view Internet content.
Consumer confidence at 6-year high
U.S. consumer confidence has rebounded to the highest reading in six years, providing a further sign that the economy’s prospects should brighten with warmer weather. The Conference Board said Tuesday that its confidence index rose to 82.3 this month from a February reading of 78.3. It was the strongest reading since the index stood at 87.3 in January 2008, just as the Great Recession was beginning. Conference Board economist Lynn Franco said consumers are moderately more upbeat about future job prospects and the overall economy, though less optimistic about income growth.
Sales of new homes decline
Fewer people bought new U.S. homes in February. Sales fell to their slowest pace in five months, a sign that the housing market has yet to recover fully from brutal winter weather. Sales of new homes declined 3.3 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 440,000, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That was down from a revised rate of 455,000 in January. Buying dropped off during February in the Northeast, which was battered by snowstorms. It also fell in Western states, where last year’s price increases have made homes less affordable.