When many of us think of “smart glasses” we envision technology like Google Glass–fully outfitted specs with a heads-up display and a constant Internet connection. But if you’re like me–a lifelong eyeglass wearer–you’ll know the smartest thing your glasses could do is tell you where they are when you’ve lost them. It happens more than I’d like to admit, and I’m not alone. Recent research suggests that, along with keys, glasses are among the most commonly lost items in the home and we spend more than 10 minutes each time trying to track them down when we should be heading out the door for work.
Constantly losing glasses was a problem for Dafna Ariely, a former social scientist, too, which is why she decided to create the Look, a wearable tracking device that fits onto virtually any frames.
“The idea came to me when I was having trouble finding my glasses,” says Ariely. “I spent hours looking for them, and my whole family had to come together to help me. When I finally found them between my couch cushions, I decided that I need to get something that will save me and my family from hours of frustrating searches.”
The Look is a small wearable device with a Bluetooth Low Energy chip inside. Users can attach it to virtually any type of frame and then pair their glasses with their iOS or Android device. If you misplace your glasses with the Look attached, simply open the Look app on your smartphone and tap “Find Glasses.” The Look wearable will send out an audible beep alerting you to your glasses’ general location. As you move toward them the Look app will act as a visual rangefinder, confirming you’re headed in the right direction.
Ariely and her team opted for range-finding software instead of an app that showed a map because oftentimes glasses are misplaced within a 20-foot radius in a home or office–not forgotten across town. Since homes and most offices don’t have detailed indoor maps in either Apple’s or Google’s mapping solutions–and since most lost glasses are left in very niche areas such as a shelf or in between couch cushions–range-finding software was the optimal solution. The custom BLE chip inside the Look has a 50-foot range.
Tracking devices are nothing new for larger items like luggage tags and fobs linked to key rings, but making one for eye frames presented a unique set of challenges. The Look needed to be small enough to fit on the arm of standard glasses and also be stylish enough so people would want to wear it on their frames (style is something Google overlooked with its Glass eyewear).
“The biggest challenge was creating a small and elegant device, which would be both lightweight and aesthetic,” says Ariely. “I just wanted it to be as small as technologically possible. What I love about Look is that it doesn’t require any adapting. It doesn’t affect the weight of your glasses and it’s pretty, so it doesn’t take away from the design of your glasses in any way.”
At launch the Look will come in four different designs and multiple colors to fit the myriad styles of prescription, reading, and sunglasses on the market. The device itself measures 35mm long x 10 mm wide, which when placed on the glass’s arm where it meets the frames, should be enough to obscure it from sight on most eyewear–particularly sunglasses or any wider frames (hipsters, take note). But because the Look was designed with style in mind, users can also choose to wear it on the outside of the arm if they want to show off how smart their glasses have become.
The Look is currently seeking to raise $50,000 in funding on Indiegogo. Its campaign runs until November 2nd and, if successful, the Look will ship shortly after.