Ever been driving down a freeway, sun glaring in your face one minute and then you hit a tunnel and boom, total darkness? You need radar or autopilot or something to avoid crossing into oncoming traffic, at least for a couple of seconds, maybe more.
Don’t you hate it when that happens?
Well, agency Innocean, the West Coast agency that services Hyundai/KIA among other brands, says it has the solution. The agency just got into the wearable gadget business with a pair of smart sunglasses that it is marketing directly to consumers.
The glasses are being branded “Glatus,” which can now be ordered via Kickstarter, the crowdfunding platform.
Among other functions, the glasses monitor personal UV exposure and, the agency says, help prevent drowsy driving by monitoring drivers’ alertness and the air quality in their vehicle. UV sensors on both sides of the sunglasses track the UV index from sunlight at various locations and provide voice alerts according to the risk level.
For example, it gives real-time voice alerts such as, “Your sun exposure is high. Be careful.” The UV sensors have been designed, after numerous tests, to cover various angles of sunlight, and have international patents pending.
The glasses also provide blink pattern analysis and alerts based on the risk presented by drowsiness, which often occurs when people drive in direct sunlight for long periods of time.
A premium version of the smart sunglasses includes automatic electrochromic lenses. The lenses automatically adjust to current sunlight in a tenth of a second. That’s designed to provide comfort when you move indoors from outdoors or when a vehicle enters or exits a tunnel. As you can tell from my lead, that’s the feature that got my attention.
The agency developed the design and technology for the smart eyewear and then partnered with sunglass maker Oakley to produce the final product. Glatus is priced at $295 for the regular version and $350 for the premium type, which is what you’ll need if you’re interested in the automatic electrochromic lenses.
Of course, there’s an app for users to check their daily record on UV exposure and driving conditions.
And by design, the glasses are smart, but the focus is on seeing better and driving safer. Don’t buy them if you want to check your email or watch a movie.
The 2.0 versions (and higher) are currently in development.