Created out of pure medical necessity, glasses have gradually become fashion accessories, turned tech gadgets. With their expanding features and futuristic designs, will glasses end up saving the world?
Initially, it was in thirteenth century Florence that physicist Salvino degli Armati fixed a pair of lenses to a wooden circle, playing with the thickness and curvature, which together could magnify objects and text. Since then, our increasingly sedentary lifestyles and the advent of pocket-sized screens gave way to the general adoption of an initially daring idea: adorning our noses with 2 corrective lenses.
Fashion then became infatuated with the concept, playing with shapes, textures, colors, and using style to fight the image of disability that spectacles once evoked. From reading glasses, to polarized, tinted, non-corrective, or bi-focal, glasses today regularly oscillate between nerdy and ultra-cool, even appearing in augmented reality filters (just check your favorite photo-sharing apps).
And as an ultimate snub to the survivalist vision of a world governed by the law of the jungle (one that, by default, excludes those with poor eyesight), glasses have now entered the upper echelons of technological innovation. This can be illustrated straight out of the R & D labs at two Silicon Valley giants: Google and Snapchat. Googles Glasses have ventured into the troubled waters where science fiction meets reality. And the SnapGlasses have also tried to push this futuristic promise of capturing life’s every moment in 360 ° from your glasses. Both have been met with mixed results.
Amidst these risky attempts at high tech acrobatics, Citroën has offered up its own vision by creating a pair of glasses to eliminate motion sickness in 95% of cases. They aren't connected, of course, but with them you will be noticed and they might even get a "like" (in real life). And for those glasses that save the world, stay tuned...