Project Update: September-October 2017
(6 min read)
This is a longer update, so lets just hop into it.
Shipments Starting Soon
We will reach out to the first 30 or so pre-order customers in October to confirm their prescriptions and addresses. As I have warned several times in the past, shipments will start out slow at first and begin to accelerate over a period of months. Please remember that outside of LAFORGE Optical, no other company on earth has figured out produce prescription eyewear with embedded optics, that weighs under 30 grams, with electronics inside the frames. Please give us time to sort out initial issues with the first cohort of 30 or so pre-orders.
As previously mentioned, those receiving alpha eyewear should expect some "issues" (as finding issues is the point of this limited alpha release). LAFORGE will fix these problems by replacing the eyewear and/or offering free software updates. The earliest releases will used for us to understand how our Phantom Display is perceived given variances in facial structure, pupil distance, wearer style (how far up or down the nose one wear’s their eyewear), and visual acuity.
Our intended outcomes from the alpha trials are to determine a relationship between those factors to ensure an acceptable "out of the box" experience for future customers. The activities that our alpha wearers will be executing will be key to the success of the product and we will also make this data available to other augmented reality companies. For those of you who have worn AR,VR, MR (are we getting too granular with the “R”s?) headsets, you may know that many of them can make you feel not so well or cause a lot of eye strain we are wanting to avoid all of that. I believe that categorizing the type of optics needed for each wearer, may ensure a long lasting and pleasant experience and will be a boon for the industry as a whole.
More on the eye and why studying it is important
Several years ago, the eyewear industry created devices that were able to look at your eye and predict your visual acuity and recommend a prescription. However, most people know that your Optometrist or Ophthalmogist still uses a phoropter (the “better one or better two” machine). This is done because in our developmental years our brains are programming themselves to optimize our field of vision based what our eyes can see. To put it another way our brains are learning to overcome our poor hardware (our eyes). As a result, it means that two individuals who have the same physical defects in their eyes will more than likely have two different prescriptions. We have been taking our time and consulting with Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, and Opticians to develop the best solution for mass producing the near-to-eye optics found in our eyewear.
These conversations have lead to another design improvement and innovation in the field of near-to-eye optics that our preorder customers will be experiencing. We will be coupling the display to the lenses in a unique way that allows accommodate for a wider range of facial geometries and prescriptions to make experience more consistent from person to person.
Pre-order Lock-in Offer
We understand that some of you have been waiting months to get your hands on our digital eyewear. As a result, some people have been delaying their purchase of their next pair of eyewear until we ship. We have been quietly accommodating some of you by shipping conventional prescription eyewear, as things have taken a bit longer than we originally stated. So we’re going to offer our pre-order holders something they need for free.
Starting in October, we will start offering pre-order customers the option to lock-in their pre-order. In exchange for this, you will receive a free pair of prescription eyewear or sunglasses featuring our lens technology. You can use this eyewear in future focus groups for experiment 2, as well as to get a good idea of how much work has gone into making these lenses. Please note that by locking in your pre-order that you will not be able to cancel or get a refund but you may still change your frame style and prescription.