Apart from design and some minor improvements, eyewear has largely remained the same over the past 100 years. As a result, most of us don’t really think about how eyewear impacts our lives, we just use what we’re prescribed. This also means that little has been done to enhance our vision, but that’s all about to change.
Lucyd, the Singapore-based startup is on a mission to rethink what’s possible when it comes to eyewear. Their recently announced product, Lucyd Loud is their first step towards their ambitious vision to bring eyewear and wearables into the 21st century.
We recently sat down with Harrison Gross, co-founder of Lucyd to discuss their mission and to understand where the industry is headed.
Your website states your mission is to upgrade eyewear – what does that mean exactly?
Harrison: Lucyd has recently launched an eshop for innovative, prescription-ready eyewear. In addition to our in-house development of the Lucyd Loud and upcoming Lucyd Lens visual smartglasses, we are constantly researching cutting-edge eyewear from around the globe. The vision behind the Lucyd eshop is to gather all of the greatest innovations in eyewear, and make them available to anyone in the world, quickly, inexpensively and with proper lenses.
When we founded Lucyd a year ago, we saw just how fragmented the wearable space was, particularly with regard to advanced glasses. It was difficult to find any tech frames that had a genuinely positive response, let alone purposeful utility. Just six months after being funded, we’re already shipping prescription-fitted pairs of Lucyd Loud “soundglasses” around the globe—and it’s only the beginning. New styles and sizes of Lucyd Loud are also planned for the near future. Vocally-controlled apps for sending content and cryptocurrency peer-to-peer via Lucyd glasses are also in the works.
What is Lucyd Loud and what do the glasses do exactly?
Harrison: Lucyd Loud is deceptively simple—but therein lies the beauty. Imagine bluetooth headphones and a pair of Oakleys had a baby. Loud is a comfy pair of glasses or sunglasses, with the added benefit of a bone conduction audio system, microphone and touchpad. These features enable your glasses to make and take calls, access many useful apps, and listen to music, letting you keep your phone pocketed and your eyes on the world.
There may be a few seemingly similar soundglasses on the market, but none are readily available in proper prescriptions including single vision, progressive vision, photochromic lenses and sunglass, fully guaranteed, and shipping rapidly from the US with US-cut lenses. However, it is still a beta product, so we are offering a large amount of credit to those who try Lucyd Loud and submit an impartial review to us.
Part of the Lucyd vision is to deliver glasses with tech enhancements that have no impediment to natural visual acuity—we will never offer a cumbersome or obstructive product. We believe technology should add to vision, not reduce it, and Loud does this by adding a readily-accessible voice assistant to your glasses. We think the large/awkward form factor ARVR devices won’t make the cut for the average user, simply because they put too much strain on the essential human need to see clearly and effortlessly.
How do you see technologies like blockchain and AI transforming the eyewear industry?
Harrison: Ah, my kind of question (laughs). This is more about the long term plans of Lucyd, where we see Lucyd in another year or two (the distant future when you work in blockchain). Blockchain, AI, AR, there’s something these emerging techs all have in common—they’re also converging. You can start to see it now with Lucyd Loud, it’s like Siri living in an article of clothing, with a totally transparent interface. I’m always going on about the “wearable future,” a world where any accessory can be a supercomputer, with an interface that perfectly fits the user and the task at hand. Blockchain will live in AR because everything computational will, at least if we’re correct in thinking that wearables will become our primary uplink to the digital world. We’re still in a very rudimentary phase of these technologies, and in a few years they will run together much more smoothly, to the effect that commanding an AI bot in your glasses to work the crypto markets on your behalf will be a mundane task. In a nutshell, we’re hoping to be the ones to hand you the basic entry point to this future—your first real smartglasses, and their foundational software.