So far, the only face-mounted tech with any potential to take off has been VR, after Google’s failed Glass project proved to be somewhat of a non-starter.
But VSP Global and the University of Southern California (USC) Center for Body Computing are hoping to suceed in this area with Level – glasses that double as a fitness tracker.
VSP Global has some experience with the tech sector, previously working with Google to provide subsidized frames with prescription lenses for Google Glass.
But Level has the advantage of being slightly more inconspicuous that Google’s smart glasses, with the fitness tracking tech hiddden within the frame.
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The tech itself includes a gyroscope, accelerometer, and magnetometer, which will track a wearer’s steps, calories burned, and activity time.
An associated smartphone app provides updates and stats, and participants will accrue points in the app for reaching daily step goals.
In partnership with USC, the company is launching a major academic study and consumer pilot test with the latest version of Level, previously debuted as Project Genesis in 2015.
“Designers collaborated with firmware and biomedical engineers, who collaborated with traditional eyewear craftspeople to produce something that is both technologically advanced but also seamless and beautiful,” said Leslie Muller, co-lead of VSP Global’s innovation lab, The Shop.
“Good design is so critical with something like eyewear because it’s the only man-made design product that sits on people’s faces, and eyewaear actually is the world’s most succesful wearable, it’s been around for 700 years.”
As first, the Level glasses won’t be made available to the general public, but findings from the prototype research test will be published next year.
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Can Level suceed where Google Glass failed? Let us know in the comments.