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Sunglasses  designed to block Facial Recognition & Infrared Radiation.
Sunglasses designed to block Facial Recognition & Infrared Radiation.
193 backers pledged $33,996 to help bring this project to life.
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IRpair & Phantom - Privacy Eyewear.

$33,996

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Infrared Radiation (IR) in the forms of 3D dot matrix mapping and laser scanning are the most accurate forms of facial recognition technology and they will soon become the most common. IRpair & Phantom maintain your privacy on these systems during both day and night.  They also obscure your facial data on 2D infrared surveillance cameras in low light environments and block infrared eye-tracking. Wear IRpair & Phantom to protect your identity from unregulated facial recognition.

You cannot log into the iPhone X Face ID (day or night) with IR-pair & Phantom.
You cannot log into the iPhone X Face ID (day or night) with IR-pair & Phantom.

IRpair counters facial recognition with the specially formulated IR-lenses.  These lenses are made with optical filters that allow visible light to pass through, but block infrared radiation from penetrating.   IRpair acts as a shield from facial recognition & eye tracking by turning your eye space black to any form of technology using infrared for mapping or illumination.  Since we cannot perceive infrared, our vision remains unchanged. 

On left side is an IR-lens and on the right is a regular sunglasses lens.  When infrared is used,  the IR-lens turns black while the regular sunglasses lens becomes clear.
On left side is an IR-lens and on the right is a regular sunglasses lens. When infrared is used, the IR-lens turns black while the regular sunglasses lens becomes clear.

Since IRpair blocks infrared radiation at the lens, 3D infrared facial mapping will not be able to read the critical eye measurements for a match during both day and night.  Unlike regular sunglasses that become clear in the presence of infrared, IRpair's lenses turn dark black on traditional surveillance cameras using infrared in low light situations.  Wear IRpair to deny facial recognition access to your eyes.

The following examples of IRpair were made with stock acetate color samples from the manufacturer. For the full production order, IRpair will come standard in a dark black translucent acetate with a glossy finish.  Custom colors and acetate properties have been selected as an additional option if funding allows.

In addition to the IR-lenses, Phantom also uses a frame-applied infrared reflective material to defeat facial recognition. On traditional infrared surveillance cameras, Phantom will illuminate around the eye space, denying algorithms the critical biometrics for a match. With 3D infrared dot matrix facial mapping, the reflected infrared beams from Phantom will distort the facial data to maintain your privacy.

Video from an IR security camera.
Video from an IR security camera.

Phantom remain covert by only reflecting infrared light. Visible light cannot penetrate the black infrared-permeable layer to reach the most retro-reflective material that lies beneath. Phantom may look like a regular pair of black glasses, but they are always reflecting infrared from any source. 

Video from a phone with the visible light on.  By not reflecting visible light, Phantom keep you covert.
Video from a phone with the visible light on. By not reflecting visible light, Phantom keep you covert.

The IR-clip allows you to switch between the IR-lenses (IR-light & IR-dark). They also make it possible to wear prescription lenses in the frame and select your desired IR-lens shade depending on the lighting conditions.

A useful combination of IRpair and the IR-clip is to have IR-light lenses mounted in the frame and the IR-dark lens as your additional clip-on.  This way, you can wear the IR-light lens during the day/night, outdoors/indoors, and when you need extra sunlight protection, clip on the IR-dark lenses.  They work well together.

Connect one end of the IR-clip to the frame, bend it slightly to fit over the other side and the IR-clip is securely attached.  This can easily be accomplished while wearing the frames.
Connect one end of the IR-clip to the frame, bend it slightly to fit over the other side and the IR-clip is securely attached. This can easily be accomplished while wearing the frames.

IR-light and IR-dark lenses are made with specially formulated optical filters that absorb the near infrared spectrum which is critical for 3D facial mapping, eye tracking and illumination on average infrared security cameras. Any device using infrared in the forms of laser or lamp will not be able to obtain the necessary eye biometrics for facial recognition.  IR-lenses shield infrared radiation from your eyes and maintain your privacy.

IR-lenses also filter out the visible blue light spectrum allowing your vision to be more bright, crisp and clear.  You will have more perception of depth and you will notice a reduction in the effects of smoke, haze and fog. 

Since infrared is perceived as heat, IR-lenses will help keep your eyes cool and relaxed (no squinting). This is beneficial for people who wear contacts or suffer from dryness of the eyes, even photophobia.  IR-lenses do the same thing as the BluBlockers of the 90's, but they also block the near infrared spectrum. 

  • Blocks 85% of the near infrared radiation spectrum (780-1400nm).
  • Blocks UV from 150-475nm (UVa, UVb, UVc, & visible blue light).
  •  Visible light transmission up to 42%.  Can be worn indoors and outdoors during day or night.
  • Good for indoor environments scattered with blue light (computers, LED lightbulbs, TVs, phones, etc.).   Bright vivid yellow/green viewing environment.  
  • Block 3D infrared facial mapping during day & night and traditional 2D facial recognition on cameras using infrared for illumination.
  • Blocks 95% of the near infrared radiation spectrum (780-1400nm).
  • Blocks UV from 150-495nm (UVa, UVb, UVc, & visible blue light).
  •  Visible light transmission up to 28%.  Mainly for outdoor use during the day and some indoor environments.  
  • Comparable to the darkest sunglasses you have ever worn, while still providing a bright vivid yellow/green viewing environment.  
  • Block 3D infrared facial mapping during day & night and traditional 2D facial recognition on cameras using infrared for illumination.  

Both IRpair & Phantom are designed to accommodate prescription lenses. Any decent optical shop will be able to cut Rx lenses for the frames. If you want your frames to arrive with your prescription lenses installed, contact me directly to make arrangements (there is not a pledge for prescription lenses).  If you do choose to wear IRpair or Phantom with your prescription lenses, you will want to get an IR-clip to block infrared from reaching your eyes.

The design for IRpair &Phantom is informed by my 15 year career as a custom wood eyewear creator.  The shape and size of this pair looks excellent on a wide variety of facial features… big heads, small heads, women, men, and all the in-betweens.  If Ray-Ban is known for the Wayfarer, this is the design that will be chiseled into my grave. 

Starting with solid blocks of quality cellulose acetate, the frames are created by the reductive process of CNC machining. This method of manufacturing allows for precise adherence to the design and extremely high durability. The temples have solid wire cores running throughout the temple ends so that you can bend and shape the frames to fit your unique features. Sturdy hinges and a universal bridge provide a gentle and secure fit.  You will be able to feel the quality when they are in your hands and on your face. 

IRpair & Phantom are currently the same price to simplify the pledge amounts on this Kickstarter campaign. Phantom’s price will increase after the campaign ends.

There are established reward tiers available for pledges, but you may want a combination of frames and clip-ons that are not specified. Use simple math and create your own pledge amount depending on how many frames and clip-ons you want. Enter your pledge into the “Build Your Own Pledge” category.

To everyone who has ever supported any of my work in the past 15 years, please use the “IRly Bird” amounts. If you are new here and all of the established “IRly Bird” pledge tiers are taken, use the “IRegular” price points for making your own pledge amount. Otherwise, it goes as follows…

A self-fulfilling prophecy from my 1st grade art class.
A self-fulfilling prophecy from my 1st grade art class.

Since 2005, I have been creating custom wood eyewear for individual clients all over the world under the name Urban Spectacles. I have designed and made with my hands more pairs of glasses than you will find in your local optical boutique. To me, making eyewear is a self-taught art & craft that has become my vocation.

In 2016, after a successfully funded Kickstarter campaign that raised 42K out of a 28k goal, I was able to bring the first ever form of reflective eyewear to fruition, namely Reflectacles Ghost. While these functional glasses block facial recognition in many situations, I didn’t stop there. Just like any decent artist, I seek the unknown and attempt to discover newer and greater realities. This is why I have created IRpair & Phantom.

2D facial recognition uses algorithms to find a match between the subject’s face and an image database of collected faces. It relies on measurements in a 2D plane such as distance between the eyes, nose & lip shape and placement, chin angle, brow space, hairline, etc.

In the illustration above, the “algorithm” is shown matching two completely different people simply because their facial features are similar.  So far 2D facial recognition is not accurate enough to operate without human involvement. 

3D facial mapping uses up to 50k micro-beams of IR to sense and interpret an exact digital replica of the face. Think of it like the old Pinart toy from the 90’s, but only with many thousands more pins. 3D facial mapping is so precise that even identical twins are not able to fool the system. This form of facial recognition allows artificial intelligence to track every face without human involvement.

Infrared 3D dot matrix mapping using Face ID.
Infrared 3D dot matrix mapping using Face ID.

We are currently led to believe that 3D infrared facial mapping is an opt-in system. For example, if you want to log into your iPhone X with Face ID, you choose to give the system your biometric facial data and it will never be shared. An interesting situation arises when you realize that this technology is so accurate that your face can be scanned at large without consent and given a unique identifier (e.g. a string of numbers).  That data can then be shared across a multitude of platforms to track all movement. Similar to how even when you are logged out of all online services, your internet activity can be stored under a shadow profile.

You cannot unlock Face ID with your eyes closed. For 3D infrared facial recognition to work, it needs the biometric data of the eyes. In the 1960’s when Woody Bledsoe developed the first manual-input form of facial recognition, eye measurements were essential to calculate a match.  Obviously, this remains true. 

Face ID will not work unless it can measure your eyes.
Face ID will not work unless it can measure your eyes.

Facial recognition has relied on human analysis for 99% of its existence. This current push towards automation, algorithms, artificial intelligence, and the use of infrared may actually benefit people who value their privacy. All we have to do is block our eyes.

Infrared eye tracking can perceive the slightest pupil movements to determine exactly where you are looking.  Eye tracking is widely being used in retail, advertising, market research, phone interaction, video games, self-driving cars, interrogations, etc..  The list goes on and will continue to grow.  It may seem harmless if you are looking at some Mountain Dew and then receive a coupon on your phone, but this is just another form to keep you consuming.  Sight is our most intimate sense and eye tracking is being employed for data mining at large without consent.

Since the IR-lenses do not allow infrared to pass through, use IRpair & Phantom to block all forms of infrared eye tracking.

Common security cameras have a ring of infrared LEDs around the camera’s lens for illumination.  More intelligent lighting schemes have been developed where there is an “infrared flood” light placed “off-axis” to a camera that can perceive the infrared flood illumination. This technology was created to stop retro-reflectivity (where an object can obscure details by bouncing light back to the source) or plainly to extend the coverage of the infrared illumination.

An infrared flashlight demonstrating off-axis lighting.
An infrared flashlight demonstrating off-axis lighting.

With IR-lenses installed, IRpair & Phantom block facial recognition on both traditional infrared illuminated cameras as well as off-axis infrared lighting setups.

Although we can't see infrared, we can perceive it as heat.  As an experiment, two thermometers were set side by side and placed in direct sunlight for 5 minutes.  One thermometer had a regular polycarbonate (UV400) sunglasses lens placed on top of the bulb and the other was covered by the IR-dark lens.  The thermometer that had the IR-dark lens over the bulb was 3 ° C (5.4 ° F) cooler than the regular sunglasses lens. When the regular sunglasses lens was removed to allow direct sunlight, the temperature did not change.  When the IR-dark lens was removed, the thermometer spiked to the equal temperature of the regular sunglasses.  With IR-lenses your eyes will remain cooler in sunlight. 

The sun emits about 54% infrared radiation, 42% visible light radiation and 4% ultraviolet radiation.  As elevation increases, the atmosphere filters out less radiation.  These tests were conducted in Chicago with an elevation of 600 feet above sea level.  It is very possible that as the elevation increases, so would the temperature difference between regular sunglasses and IR-lenses.

Over the past year, I have been experimenting with lasers in the ultraviolet, visible and near infrared spectrum.  I am not claiming to be a scientist, but I have come to some curious conclusions based on empirical tests that can be replicated in any home environment.  The most interesting result is that a laser of the same power in ultraviolet could penetrate any color while the near infrared laser could only penetrate black.  This is why you use UV sunscreen for your skin and have UV400 protection on your sunglasses, and also why we need to consider protecting our eyes (black pupils) from infrared as well, even if just from the sun's radiation emissions (54% Infrared). 

Infrared is increasingly being used for facial recognition, surveillance, proximity sensing, eye tracking, phones & tablets, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, augmented reality, 5G, military applications, driver-less cars and on.  If we could perceive the amount of infrared emitting from the modern technology surrounding us, it would be the most spectacular light show.

As infrared becomes inescapable in our everyday experience, I would hope that our "top minds" do some serious research into the safety of our eyes concerning these technologies and not just rush to create the newest tech application where infrared will create money or convenience (data mining).

Risks and challenges

All signs point to smooth sailing. Over the past 4 years, I have created an excellent relationship with the manufacturer who produced the previous production runs for Reflectacles Ghost. They are a well established business with over 40 years of experience in the industry. Two new business relationships have been created with the lens manufacturer and the acetate manufacturer, and all communication and product samples have been excellent.

Unless the world economies collapse by the time of production, I am very confident that all will go as planned. If something does occur to delay this project’s completion, know that I pride myself on my honesty and transparency.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1

    Build Your Own Pledge.

    If you prefer to create your own Pledge, do a little math depending on how many pairs and clip-ons you want.

    For previous owners of Reflectacles use the following amounts per item...
    Each Pair (IRpair or Phantom) = 124
    Each IRclip = 42

    For newcomers to Reflectacles use the following amounts per item...
    Each Pair (IRpair or Phantom) = 148
    Each IRclip = 48

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    Pledge US$ 148 or more About US$ 148

    1 Pair.

    1 pair of IRpair or Phantom .

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    10 backers
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    Pledge US$ 196 or more About US$ 196

    1 Pair & 1 IRclip.

    1 pair of IRpair or Phantom & 1 IRclip.

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    14 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 296 or more About US$ 296

    2 Pair.

    2 pair of IRpair or Phantom.

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    Pledge US$ 392 or more About US$ 392

    2 Pair & 2 IRclips.

    2 pair of IRpair or Phantom & 2 IRclips.

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    10 backers
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  6. Reward no longer available

    Pledge US$ 124 or more About US$ 124

    IRly Bird, 1 Pair.

    One pair of IRpair or Phantom at a discount for early supporters

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    Reward no longer available 65 backers
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  7. Reward no longer available

    Pledge US$ 166 or more About US$ 166

    IRly Bird, 1 Pair & 1 IRclip.

    1 pair of IRpair or Phantom and 1 IRclip at a discount for early supporters.

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 65 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)