We have seen a large number of fitness or activity trackers from both well known brands and startups in the last couple of years. These wearables have been mostly smartwatches or smart bands that used sensors to track the user’s routine and as it happens with any of our watches we tend to forget wearing these on some days (or at least I do). As a solution, VSP Global, one of USA’s largest vision care companies in partnership with University of Southern California (USC) has announced Level, the tech-embedded eyewear that doubles as an activity tracker.
The Shop, which is an innovation lab within VSP, demonstrated the first prototype called Project Genesis last year. It was the first wearable to seamlessly integrate health-tracking technology into the temple of an optical frame. The current partnership includes experts from digital health technology in USC who will be collaborating with The Shop on engineering future versions of the frame and platform. The prototype has gyroscope, accelerometer and magnetometer sensors embedded within the frames of Level and will help in tracking wearer’s steps, calories burned, and activity time. The users will also be able to locate misplaced frames through the smartphone app used with Level.
There will be a pilot study with some volunteers from USC where the participants will each receive a Level frame and the smartphone app to track their activity and provide feedback. The app also includes a point system where the participants will accrue points in the app for reaching daily step goals and once a certain number of points are achieved, that user will automatically trigger the donation of a comprehensive eye exam and a pair of glasses to someone in need. The Level pilot will run through December, with results expected in early 2017.
There are three variants of the glasses named after historic innovators – Nikola Tesla, Marvin Minsky and Hedy Lamarr. These glasses have been manufactured in collaboration with Marchon® Eyewear’s facility in Puos d’Aplago, Italy.