Thought Experiment: Glasses Tracker

Yesterday I was doing a job which required me to go up into a loft. Before I could get into the loft I needed to get to the cupboard where the loft hatch was, this meant opening up a number of locked doors. Once inside the cupboard I need to move a number of tables out then open the loft hatch and secure the ladder. It was only then I could go up into the loft space and get on with my work.

Having completed my work I did the same set of things in reverse: descend ladder, replace loft hatch, replace tables and lock doors.

A short while later I was sat at a desk having finished off the rest of the job. It was then that I picked up my keys and looked for my glasses. I expected the glasses to be on the desk, but they weren’t. Where were they? Then it occurred to me – “I wonder if I’ve left them in the loft”. Sure enough, after going through the process again, the loft is exactly where my eye-wear was.

Some years ago I left a set of glasses at Manchester airport on my way out on a business trip. On my return I visited the lost-property office to see if some kind person had handed them in. The friendly man behind the counter asked me the date on which I’d left my glasses he the took out a draw from a cabinet which was at least two metres by one metre.  The tray was full of hundreds of pairs of glasses and represented only a few days of misplaced eye-wear, some of which were very bizarre.  My spectacles weren’t there.

This got me thinking, in this world of shrinking electronics and the Internet of Things, why don’t we have GPS traceable glasses. There are clearly some styles of glasses with very little room for anything, but some of the designs have probably got ample space to store the required gadgetry?  Perhaps it’s enough to have them Bluetooth traceable, but GPS tracking would be better. Bluetooth might have resolved my loft problem, but I think it would have been less likely to have resolved my airport problem. Wouldn’t that be a great differentiator for the glasses manufacturers?

Some people have already thought about something similar:

  • Glasses TrackR – This seems to do a lot of what I want but it’s still a bit big. I like the 2-way ringer function to, which enables you to find your phone from your glasses. The limitation of 100 feet is going to be a common problem though.
  • LOOK – This is a Bluetooth variant that is more stylish, but it’s still an extra something attached to your glasses. Using Bluetooth gives it a 50 feet range which would be OK, but it’s still not GPS.

Both of these are currently concepts looking for funding, perhaps I should invest?

The challenge as always, is going to be power. You can pretty much guarantee that the time when you need this function will be the time when the batteries have dies. It’s also power that limits the range of the device, anyone who has GPS enabled on their phone knows what a power drain it can be.

So we’ve still got a way to go before this can become a reality, but it’s tantalizingly close.

Concept video for the LOOK:

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