A pair of glasses, once relegated to nearly blind and blurry-eyed nerds, could one day save your life. At least that’s the pitch from VSP Vision Care.
The eye exam provider just launched a new pair of smart glasses called Level that, for now, focus on fitness. Level not only provides the wearer with keen vision but also counts their steps, calories burned while wearing them and activity duration.
The frames come from VSP’s innovation lab The Shop and are equipped with three sensors fastened at the temple including a magnetometer, an accelerometer, and a gyroscope.
Level is Bluetooth-enabled and connects to an app to update the wearer of their activity or to let folks know where they may have misplaced their glasses.
VSP believes there is a myriad of other applications for Level besides acting as a Fitbit for your face.
“We’ve found that a visit to the eye doctor is often a person’s entry point into the healthcare system,” VSP global board member Ryan Wineinger said in a statement. “In addition to identifying conditions like glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration, comprehensive eye exams can also detect signs of other serious health conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol and even multiple sclerosis. To explore how technology inside a frame can further strengthen the link between a patient and their eye doctor is a natural extension of the role the eyes play in overall health and wellness today.”
Four-eyed folks interested in purchasing the device will have to wait awhile, though. Level is not yet commercially available and will take some testing before it is. VSP is partnering with the University of Southern California’s Roski Institute and USC’s Center for Body Computing to try out the device on university employees first.
And of course, Level isn’t for everyone as not everyone wears glasses all the time. Still, it’s a far closer look to something we are used to seeing in the wild than the Google Glass design, which was not well received by those outside the tech industry when it was first introduced.
But, like Snap Inc’s new frames, we’ll have to see if these types of devices get wider adoption and become more acceptable as time goes on.