are smart glasses really salable in the optical?
For this, our annual High-Tech issue of EB, we took a pair for a test run to tell you about the experience. VSP Global kindly outfitted me with a demo unit of its newly released (in select markets) product—Level smart glasses—to test. Here’s what I experienced:
The Eyewear: Level smart glasses by VSP Global. The hardware is located in one of the temples, along with a USB charging port. I wore the Minsky style in black.
The Lens: UNITY SVXtra with SunSync Plus photochromics.
The Packaging: Level arrives in a slick black presentation box, complete with a white techy-looking storage case, charging cable, cleaning cloth, and small instruction booklet.
The Functionality: Level integrates activity tracking tech into the eyewear and pairs with an app via Bluetooth. Functions include tracked steps, activity time, calories burned, and distance.
The App: Level’s app is simple to download and use. The design is clean, fun, and easy to view. Tracked data is easily viewed and back data is accessible for comparison.
The Price: MSRP $270 (frame only); VSP member benefits apply toward purchase.
The Do-Good Feature: Level sets a daily steps goal (mine was 10,000/day) that, if reached, earns points toward a complete exam + eyewear donation from VSP Global to the Eyes of Hope charity; wearers can choose from a list of recipient options (I chose children).
The Takeaway: Level integrates activity tracking into eyewear in a very simple, user-friendly, wearable way. The eyewear itself is bulkier and slightly heavier than today’s average lightweight frame, but no bigger than the popular geek chic chunky look, making it a very wearable smart eyewear solution. Setup is easy and the system is user-friendly and fun. And, it works extremely well to motivate—with the charity tie-in the step tracking becomes addictive.
In my view, Level is a simple, fun, features-packed option for patients and a win-win for the optical.
To learn more about the opportunity for smart eyewear in the optical, check out What the Tech? starting on page 42. We hope you enjoy the issue!
ON OUR COVER:
Model: Hannah Haen/Photogenics
Photography: Jurgen Reisch
Hair + Makeup: Prisca Wille
Fitting Optician: Rhea Aldridge of Gogosha Optique
Frames: Level smart glasses by VSP Global
Editor-in-Chief + Editorial Director