About this project
Meet Vue, the world’s first pair of smart glasses that are stylish and discreet.
At a basic level, Vue functions as glasses, meaning you will be able to order the lenses you depend on, whether they are prescription, non-corrective (plano), or sunglasses.
Vue frames come with integrated technology, meaning your glasses will be able to do more than meets the eye. Vue’s smart features include:
And much, much more!
Look great in your pair of Vue frames. Choose from a variety of different colors, textures, and shapes to help you express your own unique style.
We’re partnering with an FDA-certified lens manufacturer to provide you with the lenses you need. You’ll have the choice of prescription (including progressive), photochromic transition, polarized, and prescription polarized lenses.
Note: After the campaign closes, we’ll send out a survey for you to pick your color and lens options.
We’ve all been there—sometimes the universe just swallows up our glasses. With the Find My Glasses feature, you can relax knowing that you’ll be able to find your frames again.
Vue uses bone conduction audio technology to transfer stereo sound to your inner ear without the use of earbuds. Your ears remain unplugged, so you can listen to music, answer calls, and hear notifications all from your glasses while still being able to hear the world around you.
Navigate your Vue with a convenient touch interface embedded into the arm of the frames. Vue has no ports or buttons, ensuring that the experience is as least intrusive as possible.
Just tap to answer calls
Or swipe to cycle through songs
Your frames function the way you want them to. Use the app to pair gestures with custom actions tied to your phone, like hearing the current time, weather, activity summary, and more.
Vue ensures you’re safe whether you’re a pedestrian, cyclist or driver. Hear turn-by-turn navigation without having to look at your phone. Vue’s open ear design allows you to listen to directions, music or calls without blocking your ears, so you can still hear traffic and the world around you. While driving, Vue checks if you’re looking down or outside the window for long periods of time and alerts you. Audio and LED notifications can help to nudge you back into focus, helping you to avoid accidents and get home safe.
When was the last time you stuck a USB into your glasses to charge it? We never had to, either, and that's why we made Vue easy to charge. Just pop it into the case overnight or when you're not using it, and Vue will get charged automatically. With the charging case, Vue’s battery lasts up to one week.
Vue turns on automatically only when you put them on, and enters low power mode when you take them off, enabling your glasses to conserve more power.
The launch of Vue is just the beginning. That’s why we’re opening up our API for developers to create their own custom gestures and features. Developers can access sensors in the frames, including the accelerometer, gyroscope and touchpad, to enable entirely new features for Vue.
Some of our early experimental features:
- Nod to answer a call
- Tilt your head to cycle songs
- Shake your head to ignore a call
- Detect your sitting and standing posture
- And many more
Vue comes in two styles of frames, classic and trendy.
Vue comes in a choice of three colors: black, brown or white.
Vue’s temple piece (sides of the frames) comes in the following styles:
We're happy to have a solid prototype that we can take to contract manufacturers. Check out a few demos of the features in these videos below.
How well does bone conduction audio work?
Bone conduction technology allows you to hear audio while still being able to hear surroundings, which is useful when you still want to hear people talking to you, or hear traffic while driving, cycling or walking. It’s also an alternative to people concerned about potential hearing damage caused by earbuds.
We’re working on refining the technology including designing the bone conduction pad to touch the correct part of your head on all head sizes, as well as reducing sound leakage from the frames so that all sounds gets transmitted to you directly without getting dispersed to guarantee high enough volume.
Our team was inspired to come together because of a common frustration—smart glasses have never seemed to be designed for people who actually wear glasses. With that in mind, we set out to design a pair of smart glasses with valuable features that we would love to wear each and every day.
Over the past year we’ve created dozens of 3D printed and CNC prototypes, met with various electronics manufacturers, visited frames and lens factories, and worked to get Vue ready for manufacturing. Now we need funds for injection molds, FDA registration, and FCC/CE certifications.
Our team met at the University of Pennsylvania and have worked together for more than 4 years. We have a diverse set of backgrounds—ranging from fashion and user interaction design, to medical devices and consumer electronics, to industrial design and manufacturing. We also participated in HAX—the world’s first and largest hardware accelerator, whose resources and mentorship we will have at our disposal beyond the campaign.
We have also built and shipped products before—most recently a smart Bluetooth headset Vigo. Our experience with that headset exposed us to all parts of the production process, including manufacturing in large volumes and shipping to 40 countries around the world. We also learned a lot about mistakes and delays that are commonplace in manufacturing. Ultimately, that experience is an asset to Vue—we aren’t going in empty-handed. We’re marching forward with a deep knowledge of manufacturing and shipping, including having worked on tooling, injection molding, PCB design and assembly, audio quality testing, noise cancellation optimization, FCC/CE certification, packaging design, and international supply chain logistics.
Thanks to our videographer Antony Bui and photographer Vitaly Vyazovsky. Thanks also to our friends from HAX, including Carv, Trainerbot, Petcube, Revols, Kokoon, Wazer and Nura for their help and advice. And last, thanks to all our mentors in the HAX community, including Duncan Turner, Qiyu Wu, Peter Wang, Laura Hu and more.
Risks and challenges
We want to talk about the risks and challenges in a little more detail than is typical for most Kickstarter projects. A lot of times teams default to high-level paragraphs without outlining what exactly might go wrong. We want to make sure our backers understand the complexity of manufacturing and the associated risks beforehand.
We’ve built and shipped hardware products before, and are familiar with the problems that may arise that could cause delays and impact delivery times. We’ve tried to make our delivery estimates as close to reality as possible by including ample buffer time into our timeline to take into account of unforeseen circumstances that could arise, but we can’t predict the future and foresee everything that might occur. Here are some of the most obvious potential risks, although the list is certainly not exhaustive.
1. Tooling: Tooling is the process of making molds that eventually become pieces of the product. For us, tooling will be used to create the frames of the glasses. We’ve done our best to build room for tooling adjustments as well as mistakes into our timeline. It is possible that a part’s design may need to be adjusted, and that may take additional weeks or months to resolve. 3D printed and CNC prototypes are too different to perfectly represent an injection molded piece, and there may be unique challenges that we are unable to foresee. Tooling will also be happening around holiday season, which means factories may wind down production until after the holidays which could add to production time. We’ve already included buffer time to take this into account.
2. Supply chain logistics: If we partner with a factory and order specific components to build a PCB (for example), it is possible that the factory may run low on parts or have long lead times for their inventory. This can hold up assembly, as you may imagine, since we can’t build a product if pieces are missing. Sometimes market forces change and can affect the supply of various components. For example, if the latest iPhone drops and they use a specific component, or if they launch a feature that requires specific components in other devices, the entire industry will see a change in the supply of that component. If it is something we were waiting on, we will see longer lead times, and therefore delays.
3. Certifications/Regulations: Since we are manufacturing electronics, there are various tests, including FCC and CE, that we will need to test. These tests often reveal design flaws that require changes in the design. Our timeline takes into account the potential need for retesting. Additionally, because we are making optical frames, our product requires additional scrutiny from the FDA. We fall into a class of devices that are “exempt” from most requirements by the FDA. However, we will need to source factories that are compliant with FDA standards. Our previous experience in sourcing quality factories will help us navigate these waters, but this may take longer than initially anticipated in order to make sure the factory we work with meets all FDA guidelines.
4. Mistakes: At the end of the day, a lot of risks manifest from plain old mistakes. If we pick a plastic that ends up warping or becomes brittle during molding, we’ll have to change it. If we discover that a component fatigues during testing, it means we have to source a new one. If we fail various certifications, there may need to be redesigns in our electronics. We aren’t perfect, but we’re going to try our hardest to be as perfect as possible. We learned a lot from shipping our previous electronic devices, and we are confident that these experiences will help keep us on track.
Every company faces these challenges, but rarely do consumers see these challenges. Our biggest tool for battling these risks is having previous experience bringing prototypes from concept to full production, including working with contract manufacturers and shipping internationally. We know that building physical goods is a dynamic process with lots of room for hiccups along the way. We will keep an open dialogue with all of our backers through frequent, transparent, and thorough updates.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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