computer vision syndrome Archives - GUNNAR Computer Eyewear

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Will Bionic Eyes be the Next Step in Vision?

More often than not, medical technology is the precursor for consumer tech. Currently, there is a joint effort between Israeli and American researchers from Stanford University to develop solar-powered retinae that will hopefully cure blindness caused by retinal disease. The implants would stimulate nerve cells in the eye, causing them to function and process data again. While this isn’t being looked at as a cure for blindness at birth, it is a step in the direction of science being in control of replacing or enhancing missing senses.

Things like macular degeneration (usually age related and the leading cause of blindness in older people in the United States) are being heavily researched in order to find technological solutions. While wearing protective lenses now, such as GUNNAR Optiks, might reduce your risk for eye problems in the future, you can’t fight genetics. We spend much more time in front of digital screens, which may lead to earlier eye problems if not protected (such as computer vision syndrome) but if your DNA is pre-coded to have eye problems, there isn’t much you can do. Yet.

A team of DARPA-funded researchers from the United States and Switzerland led by University of California San Diego Professor Joseph Ford have created a telescopic lens. The lens can switch between normal and magnified vision. Right now the application for this lens is macular degeneration (AMD) patients, but one could easily shift the application to consumer technology. I can see Google acquiring the patents and putting the internet in your eyeball. You don’t need science-fiction novels to imagine that happening.

“In the future, it will hopefully be possible to go after the core of the problem with effective treatments or retinal prosthetics,” says Eric Tremblay of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland. “The ideal is really for magnifiers to become unnecessary. Until we get there, however, contact lenses may provide a way to make AMD a little less debilitating.” And after AMD is less debilitating, the focus will most likely shift to casual and consumer technology.

It is logical to hypothesize that once an affordable and mass produced bionic eye implant for medical purposes is well established in the market, that bionic eye research will turn to enhancement. Those without medically related eye issues (such as macular degeneration and so on) will be able to purchase bionic eyes to enhance their vision. Anything from being able to zoom, to infrared and anything else you can imagine will be researched. There will be a time when we can replace our boring flesh eyes with bionic eyes capable of things only expressed in science fiction and comics. Until that point though, if you want to enhance your vision without replacing your eyes, GUNNAR Optiks can help.

GUNNAR at Rooster Teeth Expo 2013

If you are a gamer then you know about Rooster Teeth. The gaming centric comedy and entertainment collective hit the big time a few years back with their Red vs. Blue videos. The series is a rip on the interpersonal and battlefield relationships of two teams of Spartan warriors from Halo. Like many other successful properties, Rooster Teeth quickly shot to pop culture stardom which led to a large following and community. This community recently met in Austin, TX for the third annual Rooster Teeth Expo (RTX). GUNNAR Optiks was on hand to educate gamers on Computer Vision Syndrome and the benefits of gaming with GUNNAR glasses.

The three day event featured a full slate of gaming industry panelists and entertainers, with a equally matched expo hall. From exploring the art of video games, to app development and comedy focused panels, RTX was a hit for fans and industry professionals alike. At the GUNNAR Optiks booth fans were given the chance to try on a pair of GUNNAR glasses for themselves and/or purchase at a show special discount. Booth visitors also got to play on the Project Gaems portable gaming rigs. The entire GUNNAR team had a great time at RTX and looks forward to coming back next year.

Be sure to check out the photo gallery below and follow Rooster Teeth on Facebook and Twitter!

RTX 2013 Photo Gallery (for the full set, head over to Facebook)

Synthesizing the Sense of Synesthesia

Many of us take our vision and perception of the world for granted on a daily basis. We assume that everyone is privy to the same sights and sounds and interpretations of sense in the same manner. This is just not true. While GUNNAR Optiks generally enhance the visual experience, especially in a digital landscape, there is so much more to the sense of sight that even we cannot begin to dream of covering it all with amber tinted lenses.

Take Synesthesia for example. This neurological condition is not well defined, as only recently research has begun to re-address this interesting sensory and cognitive jigsaw puzzle. One of the most common forms of Synesthesia is that of grapheme. This is where the synesthetes (a person with Synesthesia) perceives letters and numbers as randomly colored. There are also other caveats of the condition that cause distance to be applied to different subsets of numbers and letters, or other spatial misalignment that simply doesn’t exist. There are also those that hear sounds in relation to visual motion. These are involuntary and uncontrolled reactions to reality and perception. There is no cure, but then it seems that perhaps an alternate view of perceptive reality might be preferred over actual reality sometimes. The designers of the game Child of Eden felt the same way.

Child of Eden, published by Ubisoft, by designer Tetsuya Mizuguchi is a game that claims to engage sound, vision and touch in a seamless manner. You can check out the trailer for the game here, and see for yourself the imagery that is presented. It is a little over the top, it does take place in the future and within a computer network I believe. Based on the colors and interaction, this is probably game where you’d want to switch from classic Amber tint GUNNARs to Crystalline, just to get the feel of the true color. A lot of it is on dark backgrounds, so I wouldn’t worry too much about eye strain. Tetsuya Mizuguchi is the pioneer in these types of games, having been responsible for Rez an early version of Child of Eden.

This article in Psychology Today discusses Rez, Child of Eden as well as a board game that also seeks to emulate Synesthesia. Yet what the article lacks is a reason why one would want to smell the music (though smelling is a sense that video games cannot emulate – yet). While Synesthesia is interesting, and provides a few advantages in the visual sense, it is still a condition which causes disorienting and false perceptions of the world around you. So basically, Tetsuya Mizuguchi wants to show you what it would be like if you were on LSD — something that also causes you to smell colors and disassociate senses.

Though we are always looking for different ways to perceive the world. With GUNNAR glasses, you can at least perceive the world without worrying about fatigue headaches and computer vision syndrome, but you can’t see numbers as colors. While the games mentioned above do offer some insight into the world of people with this condition, they don’t really emulate it. Rather, they only use our perception of color, shapes and sound. A person with Synesthesia would have a totally different experience, and the games most likely don’t emulate what they are experiencing as there are so many variables to each person’s particular instance of Synesthesia. There hasn’t been enough research to date to be able to pinpoint exact conditional variables to properly emulate it for those of us with “normal” perception. Hence the LSD reference, which actually makes more sense. Rather than experiencing true Synesthesia, our perceptions are merely tested with a layman level of synthetic Synesthesia.

In the end we’ll truly never know what it is like to have Synesthesia and deal with altered perceptions on a daily basis. You can rest assured though, that GUNNAR Optiks is here to help with the visual perceptions in your daily life that we consider normal, whether they are or not. And if you have Synesthesia, you might want to consider a pair, if not just to make the color of those numbers a bit sharper.

Image: Ubisoft

GUNNAR Optiks in the Classroom

The last two decades have seen an exponential increase in the use of technology in the classroom. While the focus of ergonomics has been on business environments, we tend to overlook the digital screens that our children are staring at — where twenty years ago there were chalkboards now there are active boards. Children are needing vision correction earlier in life than the generation before them thanks to the influx of technology in the classroom.

With the obsoletion of printed textbooks on the horizon, and while technology will only benefit the educational system; these technology enabled children might need some visual ergonomics. Several students at a primary school in Las Vegas appear to be keen to this fact as they took the time to write to GUNNAR Optiks expressing their love of GUNNAR Glasses.

The small group of 4th graders were using GUNNAR Glasses to play video games (mostly Minecraft) and spread the word among the other students in their class. After receiving their letters, GUNNAR Optiks reached out to the school to do something for the kids. While the kids did end up with some GUNNAR swag, the administrators approved an assembly for all 140+ 4th graders to learn about eye health. So GUNNAR Optiks sent Director of B2B Sales Jed Rawson to the school to speak to the students.

“As students entering a digital age, taking care of your eyes should be a top priority,” Rawson told the kids. “You only get 1 pair of eyes for the next 70 years. GUNNAR lenses incorporate cutting-edge technology for staring at a digital screen – even when playing video games like Minecraft.”

GUNNAR Optiks, like many technology based companies, are huge supporters of education and want to make sure that ‘the future is bright’ for generations to come. Through early education and always willing to entertain educational and information requests companies like GUNNAR Optiks are making sure that the next generation of computer uses and coders are well protected against villains like Computer Vision Syndrome.

As for the 4th graders, they were gifted with ten pairs of Paralex and PPK, six of those to the students that wrote letters and the remaining pairs were raffled off to the students. Additionally, many students went home with GUNNAR t-shirts and Starhawk Cases. After the assembly the other 4th grade teachers told Rawson that the kids will be talking about it for the rest of the week.

One of the students told Rawson after the assembly, GUNNARS are “super great because they help my eyes when I play Minecraft“.

For more information about the GUNNAR corporate sales program: visit https://www.gunnars.com/b2b/

Adobe Welcomes GUNNAR Optiks to the Swag Store

Recently at the Adobe offices in San Jose, CA, GUNNAR Optiks was onsite to talk about the ergonomic and health benefits of wearing GUNNAR glasses at work. Set up outside the cafeteria, over 3,000 Adobe employees got the chance to see GUNNAR glasses in action. During May, which is Healthy Vision Month, corporations like Adobe are focusing on putting their employees in the healthiest position to succeed. Adobe recognizes the importance of employee health, which is why they have made GUNNAR Optiks a permanent fixture in their newly opened Swag Store.

The Swag Store, onsite at Adobe San Jose, will offer a wide selection of products. The store, run by BrandVia (who also runs the Facebook and Ebay company stores) carries everything from peripherals to cell phone cases and so-on, generally with the Adobe branding. GUNNAR Optiks was welcomed into the store with a full free standing 32 unit display with eight styles on hand, including exclusive styles not offered in retail outlets such as Best Buy.

Thanks to Adobe employee Jon — who loves his GUNNAR glasses so much that he that referred GUNNARS to the Escape committee that manages on-site campus events — GUNNAR Optiks not only will be in the company store but Adobe Employee Perks is looking at GUNNARS as an option for managers to gift to hard-working teams. Adobe wanted to carry premium products with a general appeal to their employee base and felt GUNNAR Optiks fit that mold

So far, the most popular pairs at Adobe are the GUNNAR Crystalline line, which not only enhances and protects vision but allows designers to work in true color. This factor is important for a company like Adobe, who employs a lot of graphic designers. Aside from the Crystalline, the Phenom Graphite and WiFive Espresso are so far the best selling styles among Adobe employees.

GUNNAR Optiks is looking forward to their partnership with Adobe and will be on site to support the Adobe Swag Store launch.

Recap: GUNNAR at Adobe Day

This past weekend at the Adobe facility in San Jose, CA, GUNNAR Optiks received an exclusive invitation to demo for Adobe employees. Adobe was recently recognized as one of the best companies to work. They were #2 on FORTUNE’s World’s Most Admired Software companies list, and one of the UK’s Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For. One of the reasons Adobe routinely shows up on these kinds of lists is how they treat their employees – well.

The presence of GUNNAR at Adobe’s San Jose location, which houses 3,000 of their 10,000+ worldwide employee base, was to showcase the growing concern that companies like Adobe have for the ocular health of their employees that stare at computer screens all day. Before they could even unpack, the GUNNAR team sold several pairs of glasses, with several dozen more being sold throughout day.  Things went so well as to merit consideration for GUNNARS to be included in the new Swag Store that will be opening up soon on the Adobe campus.

GUNNAR was also on hand to educate Adobe employees about the benefits of visual ergonomics. As May is Healthy Vision Month, more corporations are following the trend set by Adobe in helping their employees find ergonomic solutions for totally preventable issues such as Computer Vision Syndrome. For more information about the GUNNAR corporate sales program: https://www.gunnars.com/b2b/

Adobe Day photo gallery: