Smart glasses don't have to have all the communication capabilities of Google Glass. A French voluntary group, Atol, plans to launch a new line of inexpensive eyeglasses across its network of opticians before the end of this year, called Théou (=Where are you?), that allow the wearers to retrieve them if get lost somewhere. Developed in France, the glasses integrate a geolocalization function that makes it possible to find them through a Bluetooth connection with a synchronized smartphone.
Meanwhile, European opticians are gearing up for the launch of Google Glass in Europe. While no date has yet been set for the commercial launch, Google announced three months ago the extension of its Google Glass Explorer program to the U.K. and set up a Glass Basecamp in London where people can try on and buy the basic computer equipment and headband. They still have to get them fitted on some kind of eyewear.
In expectation for the launch, a small British company based in Southampton, Waterside Labs, has a deal for the distribution in Europe of the line of Smart frames for Google Glass developed by a big independent U.S. laboratory, Rochester Optical. They feature a patent-pending Smart Gold lens design that is said to provide a distorion-free zone for viewing head-up displays like the ones used for Google Glass. They come with single-vision, bifocal and progressive designs. The technology was shown for the first time at Vision Expo East last spring and will be presented in the “Connected Optician Area” at the Silmo show starting in Paris tomorrow.
As it did at Optrafair London earlier this year, Waterside Labs will also show the Infinity line of progressive lenses of IOT at Silmo, for which it has a non-exclusive distribution contract. They have a fitting height of only 10 millimetgers. As it did at Vision Expo East in New York last year, Waterside Labs will also present at Silmo its Aquaviz frames for scuba diving masks.