Google Glass – friend or foe?

Publication1One of the newest trends in technology is wearables. Some of these devices like the Fitbit help you keep in shape by keeping track of how many steps the wearer takes and how well they sleep. Others like the Samsung Gear 2 allow you to check email, listen to music and do myriad tasks while looking like a normal watch. But, the most interesting wearable for optometrists is Google Glass.

As of a few weeks ago, Google Glass was only available for beta testing through its explorer program which allowed for only an elite group of tech-savvy individuals to purchase it ($1500). However, as of May 15th, anyone can purchase Glass and even obtain prescription eyewear that hosts the Glass computer. As such, some practices, including my own, have signed up to be Glass experts who can work with the approved frames.

So, what does Google Glass do and what makes it interesting to medicine? Well, for starters, Glass can take pictures and record video with voice commands. These applications can be extremely useful for hands free recording of surgical procedures. This can assist in educating health care providers, can serve as a permanent record in case complications arise, and allow for patients and doctors to communicate effectively even if they are not in the same city.

And what about day-to-day activities? Well, while using the recording device may unnerve people due to privacy concerns, I can certainly imagine recording video of my kids or maybe my favorite band at a concert. Glass can also translate words you see, help you with directions, and allow you to look up information. It can even help measure distances on a golf course and track the miles you run.  One detractor, some complain about eye pain after wearing the device for a number of hours.  Google has acknowledged this as a possible side effect of wearing Glass and can be due to unnatural eye movements like looking up for a long period of time.

As you can imagine, myriad applications are being developed to maximize this piece of technology. Also, other companies have developed similar devices. So, what do you think about Google Glass? Do you have privacy concerns? Do you think that this is a cool trend, or do you think Glass is lame and pretentious? Let’s discuss!

~David Ardaya, OD
California Optometric Association
http://eyehelp.org
http://www.coavision.org

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Makeup & Glasses

Glasses are becoming a popular trend, many wearing cat-style eye glasses or hipster rims. However, since it’s a fashion statement that covers up your eyes, many women think they can’t wear makeup when they wear their glasses, but it’s just the opposite, according to fashion website Refinery29.com. They suggest you wear warm and bright colors on your lids, because if you use cool colors you run the risk of just looking like you have a black eye.

Check out this video where Refinery29 eyeglass wearer, Taylor, shows you how she puts her makeup on to make her eye pop behind her stylish Warby Parkers.

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How to clean your eye glasses

So, you’ve been working in the yard and your eye glasses are covered in grit or your kid decided to take his mud pies a little too seriously. That means it may be time to break out the good ol’ soap and water. Here are some quick steps to follow to make sure you are cleaning your glasses without needlessly damaging them along the way.

1) Rinse the glasses under warm water.
2) Use mild dish soap and gently rub across lenses with your thumb in a circular motion.
3) To get the dirt around the nose pads you can use a toothbrush, just make sure to not touch the lenses or you could scratch them.
4) Rinse the glasses in warm water.
5) Wipe clean with microfiber cloth.

If they aren’t covered in tons of grit, but the daily use has smudged oils and more onto your lenses you can just use an eye glasses spray cleaner and the micro fiber cloth to do the job.

You are done! Check out this video for information about general eye glasses care.

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