Photochromic glasses are great for things like heading out on evening bike rides, as their tint gradually lightens while the sun goes down. If you're bursting in and out of shadowy forests or zipping through dark tunnels, however, the slow reaction time of such glasses just can't keep up. That's where Uvex's Variotronic glasses come in, which use electrochromic tech to change tint in just a tenth of a second. I recently got to try a pair out, and there's nothing shady about them.
It's always handy having a spare pair of glasses on hand, but paying for
a second set of prescription specs is something that most of us would
prefer not to do. Well, that's where Adlens Adjustables come in. They're
inexpensive glasses that can be focused by the user to (more or
less) match their prescription. We recently gave them a try, and can
tell you that they work ... but you probably won't want to use them as
your primary glasses.
Smarter smartphones, bike computers and fitness trackers have come to offer a wealth of information to cyclists on their performance, but they still invariably draw focus away from the road. At Interbike 2015, electronics company Kopin was showing eyewear aimed at placing ride data in a more convenient place, directly in the cyclist's field of vision. The Solos smart glasses pull metrics such as heart rate and average speed from connected devices to offer real-time feedback on cycling performance.
If you regularly swim laps in a pool, chances are that you wear goggles so you can follow the lane markers on the bottom. For triathletes swimming in lakes or the sea, however, there are no lane markers. Instead, they have to periodically look up towards marker buoys, and may even then proceed forward in a time- and energy-wasting zig-zaggy pattern. That’s why OnCourse Goggles were created. Using LEDs, they show the wearer how to stay … well, on course.
Taking time out of your day to make an appointment and see an optometrist isn't always that agreeable, and that's before they blow those little puffs of air onto your eyeballs. But one Chicago-based startup has visions of making eye examinations a lot more accessible. Since 2012, Opternative has been developing an online eye tester that lets users obtain prescriptions for glasses and contacts from the comfort of the home or office. And now with clinical trial success under its belt, it's rolling the service out to the public.
Well, that didn't take long. In less than a year, electrochromic sunglasses have gone from being experimental to an actual product, with Dutch startup Ctrl announcing its tint-on-demand Ctrl One
cycling glasses just this month. Should you prefer multi-use
electronically-tinting sunglasses, however, you might want to get
yourself a pair of Skugga shades.
A Dutch subsidiary of liquid crystal specialist AlphaMicron is turning to Indiegogo to fund the development of Ctrl One, a pair of glasses mostly targeted to cyclists and runners that can change tint from dark to transparent in a fraction of a second, automatically adapting to surrounding lighting conditions.
A few years ago, UK-based Adlens developed self-adjustable glasses designed to let those in the developing world dial in their ideal magnification level – no optometrist required. Now the company is bringing the technology to the developed world as an alternative to bifocals. Instead of looking through a different area of the lenses (and tilting your head forward and back) to switch from near to far objects, the magnification of the AdlensFocuss glasses is adjusted by a small dial on the arm.
Intel, long the driving force of what we'd traditionally consider a computer, has made no secret of its aspirations in the wearable technology space. Its latest move to carve out a foothold across this area comes with the acquisition of Canadian smart eyewear-maker Recon Instruments, which it says will help them develop new and improved head-mounted displays.
I wouldn't normally pay too much attention to such a seemingly minor thing as eyeglass hinges, but Spine Optic's extraordinary 3D video animation caught my imagination. The company's range of frames feature a nifty self-closing hinge inspired by the human backbone that holds the glasses firmly in place on your face and offers extra flexibility to fit different sized heads.