Woman wearing glasses

Wearing glasses is stereotypically intelligent, and like many stereotypes, it’s no longer true. We’ve reached a point where we can not only correct imperfect vision, but where “firing a laser into your eyeball” is a good thing, an incredible triumph of technology over common sense (and itself).

Some people still have to wear chunks of glass over their face because of unlaserable conditions, though, and we decided that if there’s going to be a problem laser-blasting can’t solve (in direct contravention of everything we’ve ever learned from sci-fi), we should at least have cool eyeglasses as compensation.

You do want to look good, don’t you?

1. Look Smart

We already mentioned how glasses make you look smart, but didn’t point out how that “smart” in this case is an adverb instead of an adjective. Augmented Reality overlays information on your regular field of view, meaning you instantly learn new things about any object you see: you become smarter about it simply because you can use the Internet without saying, “Wait a minute,” and thumbpadding your phone for a minute. All intelligence comes from your head. We’re just moving the facts in front of your eyeball instead of storing them behind.

Augmented Reality Walker

Augmented Reality Walker

The AR Walker uses a retinal display to give you a video game Heads Up Display (HUD) in real-life. You’ve seen such things before, but the difference is this isn’t an idealistic research lab looking for publicity. This was demonstrated at the Japanese CEATAC showoff by Olympus, a huge digital camera manufacturer, and NTT DoCoMo, a major Japanese mobile phone provider. These are real people who make real money by providing real hardware and communications technology. They couldn’t be more serious about providing a real product without kidnapping your family to make you buy it.

This is still the prototype, but considering how it works, doesn’t look stupid, and is light enough for a human to carry, it won’t be long before you can buy one. It’s like a Bluetooth for your eyes, and the Jawbone clip-on earpiece has already pushed through the “makes you look stupid” barrier for us.

2. Look Cool

Function over form is all very admirable, but only an idiot would insist that sunglasses have a more important function than “make you look cool and/or badass.” The Japan Self Defense Force sunglasses accomplish both (probably because of their name). This is a country that wasn’t allowed to have an army by international treaty and just came up with another name that means “bunch of guys trained to kill people.” You couldn’t get any tougher without cloning Van Damme out of diamond.

Japan Self Defense Force Sunglasses

Japan Self Defense Force Sunglasses

The shades’ only problem is the omnipresent lawyer, which only enhances their coolness because their enemy is so evil. The advertising says that they “will not fracture even if struck at 171km/h (106mph) by a 6.55mm (0.3″) diameter object,” which couldn’t more clearly suggest bullets without actually firing at you…but it isn’t allowed to say “bulletproof” in case some scumbag gets himself shot in the face and tries to earn money instead of a Darwinian removal from the world. And in a final mockery of modern law, the advertising picture shows them resisting a bullet anyway.

So the only people who could possibly object to these are lawyers and idiots. That is to say, they are awesome and cool.

3. Gunnar Glasses

Gunnar Glasses” might sound like they’re for the Self Defense Force’s big brother — the one that sends agents into volcano bases to retrieve the nuclear warheads — but they’re the exact opposite: practical. While you aren’t going to have to deal with bullets shooting you in the eye (or at least not more than once), your face is bombarded with unnatural radiation every day. Gunnar glasses filter out the blue end of the spectrum, softening the artificial glare from fluorescent lighting and monitors that gives your eyes the horrible burning sensation that feels like spreadsheets are burning out your mind. Well, okay, the blue light is only part of that feeling, but it’s the part we can do something about.

Gunnar Glasses

Gunnar Glasses

The result is reduced eye strain and just incidentally looking a lot cooler. And they know it — with a range of styles from “Edge Ash” to “Rocket Mercury,” these are computer user goggles designed to look precisely not like someone who needs computer-using goggles.

Bonus Tip: If you’re interested in softening the strain on your eyes but don’t want to shell out on the extra optics, try f.lux software. It’s free and automatically adjusts your computer display for a similar effect.

4. Gucci Aviator 3D

The ultimate in 3D movie style isn’t on the screen, but on your face. This is good, because the last thing from the movies famous for being on your face was incredibly ugly.

Alien

Very unfashionable. And kind of fatal.

Gucci has gotten into the 3D glasses game. They’re awesomely using the latest movie gimmick to resurrect some real style from the ancient 80s: Aviator shades!

Gucci 3D Glasses

Gucci 3D Glasses

The designer shades work with Real D technology, making them compatible with 3D cinema and the upcoming Samsung H3DTVs (and if that’s not the acronym they’re using, then it should be). And this only makes us wonder: is someone who spends money to look good in the one environment designed to make sure people are looking somewhere else then unfashionable, or the most fashionable?

Pro Tip: He’s wearing the coolest glasses. That’s a hint.

5. Transcend

Recon Instruments is awesome, not just for having the coolest name in consumer technology since Xenon Cooling, but for installing a fighter jet HUD in ski goggles. You couldn’t get more extreme words in one sentence without inventing shark-boarding.

These are some extreme ski goggles

These are some extreme ski goggles

It’s the ultimate in luxury adrenaline tech, a three word phrase that means you win simply by getting to say it. The goggles contain a GPS, route map, and a full 3D accelerometer. That last bit requires not only the GPS data, but an accurate altimeter to work out the speed you’re shooting down the hill at woohoooooo!

It turns the entire sport into a video game. That’s the ultimate in kickass holiday luxury until someone invents jetpack racing.

Image credit: Stockphoto4u / iStockphoto

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