Gunnar Optiks is a San Diego, California firm that focuses on manufacturing specialty glasses for people who experience eye strain from using computers for long periods of time. Last month we received a couple pairs of the firm’s glasses to try out, and if you noticed a slight improvement in the writing quality of this blog, it might be because a good deal was done while wearing them. But seriously, though these aren’t divine miracles sent from above, we’ve enjoyed using Gunnar glasses in our work.
Gunnar has essentially taken classic reading glasses and added a few helpful twists for the digital world of computer screens. The lenses give somewhere around +1.25 magnification [update: We’re told by the manufacturer that the magnification is actually less than .25.], which seems to be almost like increasing screen size up a level while keeping pixel count the same. The view seems to be more magnified toward the center of the lens, and this does morph the image ever so slightly on the sides. Generally this is unnoticeable, especially after a few minutes of wearing the glasses.
The second helpful quality of the glasses is the yellowish tint coating on the lenses. This reduces the harsh blue color that most monitors emit when displaying a lot of white on the screen. Though the real world looks strangely yellow through these glasses, the images viewed on the laptop seem to exhibit a bit more richness and the picture has a good deal more contrast. This effect reminded us of the old Blu-Blockers we used to see ads on TV, and probably they both take advantage of the same concept of filtering out the blue.
Overall, the build quality is not supreme, but it was acceptable to us. The materials used in glasses are surprisingly light, but they don’t feel cheap, and they do offer the advantage of being comfortable to wear all day long even by those of us who don’t normally wear glasses.
There’s also a bit of glare reduction, though the glasses are not polarized. You simply can’t use polarizers with most digital screens as they will look black at different orientations in polarized glasses.
Lastly, and maybe the most important for many, is that you neither have to look like an old fashioned grammar teacher while wearing them, nor have to squint and suffer all day long while laboriously blogging, coding or working on your computer.
Gunnar Optiks homepage…
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