Photo: IRL Glasses, Wired
“EARLY LAST YEAR, Scott Blew was standing in line at a food truck in Los Angeles when he caught the glare of Fox News on a television out of the corner of his eye. This is ridiculous, he thought. He couldn’t even escape the deluge of the news, or the ubiquity of screens, on a jaunt outdoors to get lunch. You could consciously choose to put your phone away, to step away from your laptop, but then some other screen would pop up elsewhere, whether you liked it or not.
Blew, an entrepreneur and engineer, recalled an article he’d recently read in WIRED about a new kind of film that blocked the light emitted from screens. Plaster it on the glass walls of fishbowl conference rooms and other people could see in—but they couldn’t see what was on someone’s laptop. Blew wondered if the same technology might work on a pair of glasses, to block the screens that seemed to be everywhere.
He contacted Steelcase, the company that made the Casper screen-blocking film, and ordered a sample. Then he popped out the lenses in a pair of cheap sunglasses and replaced them with the film. Amazingly, it worked: Blew could look through the lenses and see everything—except for screens, which turned black.
Blew brought the prototype to his friend Ivan Cash, an artist, who thought the glasses were brilliant. Now, Cash and a small team are turning that concept into a real product. Their IRL Glasses, which launched on Kickstarter this week, block the wavelengths of light that comes from LED and LCD screens. Put them on and the TV in the sports bar seems to switch off; billboards blinking ahead seem to go blank. Within three days of launch, the project had surpassed its funding goal of $25,000. (Like all Kickstarters, this one comes with the usual caveats….)””
— Arielle Pardes, Wired