vision Archives - GUNNAR Computer Eyewear

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Like This: GUNNAR Optiks in the Facebook Store

GUNNAR Optiks glasses are a popular and healthy vision peripheral in the gaming community. Yet, for all the popularity among gamers, GUNNAR Optiks are also a great visual ergonomic option for businesses. Coming off the entrance of GUNNAR Optiks in the Adobe Swag Store in their San Jose, CA offices, GUNNAR Optiks are now available in the Facebook store at their headquarters in Menlo Park.

The Facebook campus, which as Jed Rawson (GUNNAR Optiks Director of B2B sales) said looks like a mini version of Main Street at Disneyland, was more than welcoming to GUNNAR Optiks with several hundred employees coming down to check out the display. GUNNAR Optiks will now permanently be offered to Facebook employees. With a campus full of engineers, coders, designers and others staring at computers all day — if you see any major changes in the Facebook layout next week it might be because they are working more efficiently and ergonomically thanks to GUNNAR Optiks.

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As mentioned before, visual ergonomics are no joke. Many employers go to great lengths to protect their employees from ergonomical issues to not only save money on health insurance and lost productivity, but to enable their employees to do their best work. While wrist guards are one thing, vision is another. Facebook bringing GUNNAR Optiks into the Facebook store shows they are committed to the health and well being of their employee base. The dozen or so employees who quickly snatched up pairs of GUNNAR glasses for the three day Facebook hackathon this weekend already seemed to be keen to the advantages of wearing GUNNAR glasses.

The Facebook company store is operated by BrandVia and is the only location in the world where you can legally buy Facebook branded merch. Now it’s also where Facebook employees can easily pick up a pair of GUNNAR Optiks, which makes them more productive and your social experience better.

For more information about the GUNNAR corporate sales program: visit https://www.gunnars.com/b2b/ and don’t forget to visit us on Facebook!

Kids’ Eyes are the Future: GUNNAR Optiks Visits Adobe Utah

Children are the future. This statement has been nothing short of cliche for as long as we can all remember. Yet, it never stops being true. One of our missions in life is to protect and groom our children to take over the world from us someday. With all the dangers in the current world to educate them and protect them from, don’t you think vision loss shouldn’t be one of them? With more exposure to back-lit, harsh light digital screens than ever before in history, this generation of iPad wielding grade-schoolers is going down a blinding path.

Recently at Adobe’s 280,000 sq. foot campus in Lehi, Utah, Adobe was celebrating bring your kids to work day with caricature artists, games and a focus on their vision. GUNNAR Optiks (next to the caricature artists and the photo booth) were invited back to an Adobe campus (after recently visiting the San Jose campus and the San Francisco campus) to speak about visual ergonomics to the Adobe team, and their children.

There has been an exponential increase in the use of digital screens among children, at home and in the classroom. While the focus of ergonomics has been on business environments, we are overlooking the screens we are handing our children to stare at, not to mention things like active boards in school environments. What this is leading to is children needing vision correction earlier in life thanks to the influx of technology in their lives and in front of their still developing brains. This use of technology will of course only benefit children, especially with the obsoletion of printed textbooks on the horizon.

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The Lehi Adobe campus is very unique. As the over 600 kids attending can attest, there is a an always present glare coming from the windows. The campus lets in all the sunshine available, which can create major problems when working. The ergonomics team bought screen protectors, but those proved ineffective. Several teams are already wearing GUNNAR glasses in order to protect their eyes from the glare. The employees understand how important eye protection is, which is a lesson they are passing directly on to their children.

Each child was given a pair of GUNNAR Optiks MLG Phantoms to try and they engaged in a game of Charades on the app Heads Up using an iPad Mini. The kids and their parents could see the change in how their eyes reacted to the digital screen firsthand. The parents and children learned about eye health and visual ergonomics, all the while forgetting about the harsh glare coming off the screens because they were wearing protective eyewear. The moral of the story is that any time you are using a digital screen, you should be wearing digital eyewear, even if it’s only for a game of charades.

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)

GUNNAR at the MLG Spring Championship

This past weekend at the Anaheim Convention Center, GUNNAR Optiks once again teamed up with Major League Gaming at the MLG 2013 Spring Championship. The championship not only set attendance records (over 21,000 turned out to watch their favorite gaming clans compete for the big money prizes), but also saw the crowning of a new world champion Call of Duty team. Congrats to CompLexity on their big COD win.

Meanwhile at the GUNNAR Optiks booth, the theme was the 1990’s, a period instrumental in changing the face of gaming forever (remember the bitwars?) The full arcade cabinets of The Simpson’s Game and two-player Metal Slug 2 rode shotgun to a heated and energized N64 Super Smash Bros. tournament. Each day one lucky winner walked away with a brand spanking new pair of GUNNAR glasses.

Other big winners from the MLG Spring Championship were FXOpen eSports, destroying the competition at League of Legends and walking away with $20,000 and a spot in Riot Games’ League Championship Series Season 4 Spring Promotion Tournament. South Korea’s Polt (Choi Seong Hoon) took home the StarCraft II prize, a cool $10,000. As you may or may not know, in South Korea Starcraft II is basically the official sport of the country.

During the show GUNNAR Optiks had the popular MLG Phantom for sale in various frame color combinations. MLG’s next Pro Circuit Championship event takes place in Columbus, Ohio this November. If we see you there, don’t forget to wear your GUNNARs and head over to Facebook to check out the entire photo gallery.

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 Supports Healthy Vision Month

 

May is Healthy Vision Month. If you are reading this, then you should be curious about healthy vision month. The reason for this is simple: you have eyes and you use them every day, all day and you are most likely reading this on a digital device screen. The reason this is important is that many people forget that not only is the eye surrounded by muscles, but it has its own rate of degeneration. However, like the National Eye Institute, GUNNAR Optiks is here to help.

Digital eye strain is not just an ergonomic issue. With your eyes continuously refocusing and repositioning themselves, not only does this affect the muscles but can lead to fatigue, dryness, irritation, and other vision problems. As this report from the Vision Council explains, digital eye strain is the most common computer-related repetitive strain injury, even more so than carpal tunnel and tendonitis.  We’re quick to slap on a wrist brace, so why aren’t we as quick to do something to protect our eyes?

According to the National Eye Institute, most people “often do not pay attention to their vision unless they notice a problem.” Part of it is sociological, part of it is just a lack of general education about the issue. Our eyes are responsible for delivering visual inputs to our brains – as if this isn’t obvious. Protecting them and ensuring that they are functioning without strain should be our first concern if we are staring at digital devices all day long. The Vision Council report mentioned above goes on to outline all the issues that can be caused by poor eye ergonomics including back and neck problems, headaches and blurred vision. All this can contribute to eventual vision problems in the non-digital areas of your life.

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So what can you do to prevent future eye problems and relieve current eye strain and stress?

The first step is to get an eye exam. This will quickly determine your overall eye health and if you need corrective lenses or not. Before you buy a pair of GUNNAR glasses, you’ll want to know if you need them in prescription or not. Most eye exams and prescription glasses (including GUNNARS) are covered in part by HSA/FSA benefits. Sure, there is a stigma attached to getting glasses but would you rather adhere to some vague social stereotype or see the world perfectly?

For many of us, our world is a constant series of monitors, backlit displays, tablets and mobile phones. From when we wake in the morning to when we turn off the light for the night. How many hours per day, per week do you spend in front of a digital screen? All this time, absorbing harsh light that our eyes haven’t properly adapted to defend against, can be a serious strain on the eyes. Even with corrective lenses, everyone using digital devices should consider the ergonomics of doing so.

Ergonomics isn’t just about making sure you are sitting up straight. In many corporate environments, ergonomics is a serious issue. Many employers (maybe even yours) goes to great lengths to not only educate their employees about proper ergonomics, but they may also provide you with the equipment you need to have the most ergonomic workstation. This can range from a proper chair, to wrist rests to a new pair of GUNNAR glasses.

Healthy Vision Month is a month to take stock of what your vision means to you and what you would do to protect it. From getting an eye exam, to setting yourself up at work in a visually ergonomic workstation and so on, visual health is just as important to your daily life as everything else you worry about. The difference is, finding a healthy resolve for your eyes might be as easy as a new pair of GUNNAR Optiks.

Then and Now: Vision in the Active Digital Life

Then and Now: Vision in the Active Digital Life

There was a time when many of our daily activities required just as many different devices or environments. This time is commonly referred to as “back in the day” by most people, especially Generation X. That generation has been present through the shift from the analog world to the digital one. We’ve changed the way we behave and have fun, yet we haven’t completely changed the way we interact with our digital environment.

Take sporting equipment. As the power and skill of athletes have increased, sports equipment has advanced to protect us and give us an advantage. From shoes that form to the feet to provide a better running surface to golf clubs that correct imperfections in the swing to avoid injury, we are protected. Yet, when it comes to digital – computer based – activities, many haven’t adopted the same outlook on protecting themselves. Do we not think that staring at a computer for extended periods of time hurts us just as much as running a 5k in bad shoes would?

We have changed the way we do certain things, but haven’t changed the way we protect ourselves – specifically our eyes. Sure, this is Gunnar Optiks and we’re all about protecting your eyes, but there still seems to be some doubt that our eyes are as fragile as we think they are. We still perceive the eight hour work-day, or the four hour gaming session as the only time we would need Gunnars. That is just not true. Consider these six activities, how we used to and how we now do.

Listening to Music

Back in the day (there’s that phrase again) we would fire up the record player, or the tape deck. We would listen to music while doing other activities, from cleaning to working and so on. With the advent of the Walkman, we took our music with us everywhere we went. That hasn’t changed with Mp3 players. What has changed is the way we organize our music. Instead of making mix tapes (I used to record songs off the radio) we now sit in front of the computer, purchasing or torrenting music. This is an everyday activity for most people, staring at the bright glare of iTunes or Amazon Cloud Player. Music isn’t just an auditory activity anymore, it’s visual as well.

Watching a Movie

On the surface, it might appear as if nothing has changed in the practice of watching movies. We still are sitting in front of a screen, watching Ryan Reynolds argue with Jason Bateman while urinating in a fountain and so on. Yet, something significant has changed – distance. There are recommended viewing distances for television screens, based on the size of the screen. These distances are based on several factors, viewability and eye strain being two of them. Yet, when we watch movies on computers monitors, as we tend to do more often, the distance is significantly decreased.

This decreased distance, in both watching movies and playing video games, is not doing our eyes any favors. When we sit on our couch watching movies or gaming from the appropriate distance, your eyes are more relaxed and you are able to focus easier. Yet, we think nothing different when we watch or game with a monitor mere inches from our faces. Think about this difference, and how it affects your vision.

Reading the News

Who doesn’t remember sitting at the kitchen table in the morning, sipping coffee and reading the paper? You know, the paper, that rolled piece of black and white printed material that was out in the driveway in a bag every morning. Well, perhaps you remember your parents reading the paper, or your grandparents. Either way, there was no glare from the newspaper. There was no eye strain, except for that really small type on the political cartoons.

Now, we all use our digital devices for the news. From our phones while we’re on the bus, or our computers at work – we’re staring at screens more and more. Tack on the 24 hour news cycle, and we’re constantly reading the news. Then tack on live video on your phone, such as for the NFL, and we’re getting more information than ever before from a glowing screen close to our faces.

Interacting with People

Well, unless you are having someone dictate this article to you, this is a good example of how we interact with people. Not only do we get our news and information online but we have more and more conversations online. Watch your children, they aren’t hanging out after school, sitting on the back of your car and chatting. They are staring into their phones or other devices. Hell, we all are. We’re glaring at our iPads, our iPad Mini’s and so on. Yet again, we take no mind to what that glare is doing to our vision, confused by the headaches and eye strain.

While those of us old enough to remember a day when we had to rotary dial our friends to hang out behind the 7-11, kids are now glued to their devices. There are no long term studies showing any effects of this type of eye strain. Genetically, we will of course adapt over time (perhaps a few million years), as this kind of behavior becomes the standard. Until then though, it can only benefit your eye health using proper protection.

Making Music

By now, you have got to be seeing a trend in how we interact with the creative world. From graphic design to doing homework and so on, we’re using computer screens. Music, has become one of those things that requires numerous on screen programs and editing software. It’s not all done with just plugging in and cutting the tape. Not to mention the slate of musicians that use computers to compose pretty much everything and anything. We’re using our eyes just as much as our ears to make music.

Playing Sports

I think you get the trend here. We’re spending much more of our lives in the digital realm, replacing activities that used to take place either outside or in more social environments. While kids still play organized sports, with video games we tend to play just as much sports on a screen. This is yet another example of how we are stressing our eyes further than we ever have before. There is a huge difference between using your eyes to hit a ball being thrown to you, and hitting a button to hit a ball being thrown to you virtually.

The way we use vision in the digital world speaks to the future of technology and the advances that have been made in how we interact with every aspect of the world. Advances have been made in how we use our eyes to view, yet we seem to not realize there is a paradigm shift in vision. Gunnars saw the world changing and created something to help you adapt to living life in the digital world. Or, if you prefer, you can wait until the next shift in our evolutionary process.