We’ve had a few failed attempts at giving us glasses that do more, but don’t write the smart glasses concept off just yet. Data from Juniper Research predicts that in the next few years, specs that look like regular glasses will become the highest growth sector of the consumer wearables market.
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First announced in 2015, eye care product and service provider VSP Global is preparing to launch its Level smart glasses. The company was founded by a group of optometrists in 1955. More than 60 years later, they offer world-class products and services to eye care professionals, employers and around 80 million members worldwide.
This isn’t the first time VSP has dabbled with entering the tech sector. The company previously worked with Google to offer subsidized frames with prescription lenses for Google Glass.
Level glasses began as a Project Genesis prototype within VSP Global’s innovation lab. The $270 specs look like any old pair of glasses. Hidden, however, inside the left arm is an accelerometer, a gyroscope and a magnetometer to track steps, calories, distance and activity. For obvious reasons, wearers will miss out on sleep tracking.
“We’re thrilled to bring Level smart glasses to market and offer our members an opportunity to apply their vision care benefits toward the purchase of a meaningful wearable device,” said Kate Renwick-Espinosa, president of VSP Vision Care.
“Level combines expertise from the best of VSP Global’s businesses, including healthcare, fashion, technology and philanthropy. And we’re especially proud to launch Level in partnership with VSP network doctors.”
The specs come with a smartphone app which shows your fitness stats in detail and awards points for hitting daily goals. There is a charitable element. Once you accrue 50 points VSP will give a person in need an eye exam and a pair of glasses at no charge. The app also offers a location feature called ‘Find My Glasses’.
Level glasses are water-resistant and come in three distinct designs aimed at both men and women. There is a magnetic charging mount hidden inside the hinge and a charge time of around half an hour. The battery lasts about three days.
If you’ve been looking for an elegant way to track your workouts, this might pique your interest. Expect to see the specs in selected optometry practices across the US starting in March.
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