Whether your customers want to monitor their health, play video games, overcome low vision or take photos of their next vacation, wearable eyewear technology is the way to go.
What more can you do with a pair of glasses that has not already been done? New materials, more bling, high-tech hinges, that’s about it, right? Not even close. Wearable eyewear technology is just in its infancy, and many companies have a good vision (pardon the pun) of where it is going. Oculus Rift, anyone? After it raised $2.5 million from a Kickstarter campaign, it sold to Facebook for $2 billion.
Here are just a few companies and technologies that are steering the future of wearables-whether used for entertainment or improved eyesight.
Cinemizer OLED by ZEISS is a head-mounted display that delivers a bright and clear picture similar to a HDTV experience. These video glasses can be used for home/professional gaming (even in 3D) and personal theater, as well as for enabling drone pilots to see what their drone sees (via an onboard camera).
eSight Eyewear is for the visually impaired. It is a patented, non-surgical solution to being able to function visually again. The technology consists of a specially designed wearable, hands-free headset housing a small, high-speed camera. The captured live video stream is instantly sent to a handheld computer that processes the images captured by the camera. The enhanced video is sent back to the headset and displayed on two, organic-LED screens in front of the user’s eyes. The user can adjust the video image to enhance all distances and even magnify the image up to 14 times.
Radar Pace is the result of years of research and development between Oakley and Intel, two brands grounded in innovation. The smart eyewear features a real-time, voice-activated coaching system. The device creates dynamic and personalized training programs, tracks performance, coaches in real-time and responds naturally to questions asked by the user. Radar Pace features removable earphones, three microphones and sensors that track movement, orientation, atmospheric pressure and humidity. A companion app (iOS and Android) can store stats.
Spectacles from Snap, Inc. are sunglasses with an integrated video camera that captures a 115Âº field of view. The glasses connect to Snapchat via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi so the up to 30-second videos can be saved to Memories in the app.
The VR ONE Plus headset from ZEISS supports Android and iOS smartphones with display sizes between 4.7 and 5.5 inches. Users can wear their eyeglasses as normal while using the headset. An upgraded version of the VR One, the Plus headset, comes with a removable head strap and front faceplate with foam inserts that can be replaced after heavy use.
PogoTec, the inventor of Pogo-Track, is working with specific frame companies to create specially designed eyeglass frames that have a standardized track/channel in the temple. This design allows electronic wearable devices, such as the Pogo-Cam, to be easily and conveniently attached to prescription and non-prescription eyewear while preserving design integrity and fashion style. Examples of devices that that can be easily attached to Pogo-Track eyewear include a UV meter, alertness monitor, pedometer, GPS, wearable camera, IR sensor, air quality sensor, radiation detector, audio device, heads-up display and hearing aid, just to mention a few.
Level, developed by VSP Global’s innovation lab, The Shop, is the first example of tech-infused eyewear to seamlessly integrate health-tracking technology in the temple of an optical frame. The prototype’s technology syncs with an app that creates a readout of the wearer’s steps, calories burned and distance traveled. Its app syncs with VSP Global’s Eyes of Hope program. Users can set a goal and accrue points that result in a donation to the charity. In the future, VSP envisions combining a multitude of other health-tracking metrics beyond the current capabilities to provide ongoing and updated information about the user’s overall health. See Future in Focus on page 64 for more on the Level.
Bob Main, ABOM, is an optical industry veteran, with over 35 years of experience in the eyecare industry. Currently he is a business development consultant who works primarily with the eyecare industry.
WHERE TO FIND IT:
eSight Glasses 855.837.4448 • esighteyewear.com
Oakley, Inc. • 800.733.6255 • oakley.com
Snap, Inc. • Snap.com
VSP Global • 888.867.8867 • vspglobal.com