According to Global Eyesight Now, six out of 10 people in the world wear glasses or corrective lenses (or have had corrective surgery). For the majority of these people their days start by putting on a pair of glasses and end by taking them off. VSP Global is one of the leading manufacturers of eye wear and providers of vision care insurance. The company is developing eyeglass frames that will serve double duty as a wearable Health Tech device, in a program named “Project Genesis.”
Initially, the program is focused on tracking exercise through steps taken, distance traveled, and other typical fitness metrics. Given their business, it should not be surprising that they started by creating attractive designs that can house the sensors, GPS, Bluetooth, and battery components. As the components get smaller and more integrated, the design options increase. They have ambitious goals for the project, however, that include adding tracking heartbeats and other biometric data. One can easily imagine how this could become the platform for measuring many different aspects of the wearer’s health. They also could become part of a user interface that would make mobile computing devices easier to use, through head-tracking and other functions.
We have often mentioned that the likely success path for wearable Health Tech devices will require that they become “invisible” to the user. They must be hassle free, and not require any decisions by the user; they just become a natural part of the user’s daily life. Rather than create a separate, dedicated device — such as a wristband — embedding these functions in an object that is going to be used routinely in any case, a pair of eyeglasses that provides these extra functions seems to be a winning concept.