Gunnar Optiks Advanced Gaming Eyewear have been building a bit of chatter in the past few months. Gunnars, put very simply, are glasses with a yellow tint that are being promoted to the gaming crowd. The glasses are meant to address issues that affect gamers in particular because they tend to stare at monitors and TV screens for a long time. Knowing my own habits, a description like that makes me wonder if the Gunnar glasses would also be a valuable asset to the IT Professional. I have heard of programmers who swear by them.
Gunnar summarizes the features their products offer in five bullet points:
- Increases contrast for greater visual accuracy and efficiency
- Enhances detail for sharper, clearer vision
- Helps reduce glare and improves focus
- Improves visual endurance during extended gaming sessions
- Decreases eye fatigue and dry eyes
Best Buy has had demo units of Gunnar glasses out in their stores recently so I stopped by my nearest store to check them out and see if I could notice a difference. Best Buy had three different models available for purchase with two to try on. There are many different varieties on the Gunnar website and on Amazon.com including categories for computer use, gaming, prescription, crystalline (for designers), and outdoor eyewear.
The difference between the Advanced Computer Eyewear and the Advanced Gaming Eyewear is the frame. The gaming glasses use a light-weight frame while being more comfortable with wearing a headset at the same time. Both versions use the same lens technology. For the IT professional, the frame all comes down to personal preference. I actually liked the feel of the more solid frame but that’s just personal preference.
*knock on wood* I don’t have any problems with my vision nor do I suffer from migraines or headaches after looking at a monitor for a long time. I may not be the test candidate to see if the glasses offer any improvement and even if they did, it might require use for hours to notice any benefit. I also had to get used to wearing glasses and having the frame in my peripheral vision. They do offer 10 styles with prescriptions for those used to wearing glasses already.
The demo station at Best Buy instructs you to put on the glasses and look at your smartphone. There were two models of the glasses for the solid and the lighter frames with an anti-theft cable wrapped around the bridge. The cable made for a very distracting demonstration because it was constantly trying to retract. Another factor working against the glasses is the lighting inside the Best Buy store. It was very bright industrial lighting, so very different from both the home and office environments, and causing glares on my phone and the plastic demo kiosk. However, the glasses did seem to help reduce the sharpest points of the glare.
Looking at my phone, I was surprised at how the yellow lenses did not re-color the world. Motorcycle glasses also use yellow lenses to make objects stand out, so I wonder if they borrow from that concept. For designers, they offer the Crystalline lens which has a clear lens so colors remain true.
I couldn’t see a drastic difference from my brief (not according to my wife) experimenting with the glasses but there was a lot going on in the test environment that I discussed earlier. Could the glasses prevent future issues from developing? That’s where the concern comes in. I do spend a lot of time behind a monitor but so do a lot of people and is the concern just the marketing working? The reviews on Amazon all seem very positive, so I’m led to believe they do something. Would they do something for me though?
If you have been experiencing eye strain from long days at the computer or they feel tired when playing video games for hours at a time, you might give the Gunnar Optiks a shot. Since it is Summer time, you might also check out their line of sunglasses.
If you have tried Gunnars out for a lengthy period of time, please share your thoughts on them in the comments below. Otherwise, enjoy the infographic below which gets into some of the concepts behind Gunnar Optiks glasses and technology.
(Infographic credit: Visual.ly)