According to the research, it takes the average person 25 minutes to regain focus after being distracted. It takes the average parent, on the other hand, forever, because the distractions never stop. And while there’s been a recent spate of new wearables aimed at calming the most harried of minds, Smith Optics is the first company to hide that technology in a sexy pair of suncheaters.
At first glance, the Lowdown Focus look exactly like the no-tech version of Smith’s Lowdown glasses. Same handsome pair of lightweight matte frames, signature nose bridge detail, and polarized lenses. Tucked inside the arms and bridge, however, are EEG and EMG sensors that measure brain activity. Also, electrooculography (EOG) sensors that read eye movement and an accelerometer, gyrometer, and magnetometer to track breathing (and steps, naturally). Together the sensors tell when a wearer is focused or distracted.
But how does it improve concentration? Simple. The glasses sync via Bluetooth to a smartphone meditation app. When the user dons a pair of connected earphones, they hear the sound of waves. If the mind is busy, the waves are crashing. As the brain calms, so too does the water. A voice coach is along for the ride to help the user clear their thoughts and focus their breathing. Of course, the goal is that with practice a person can keep the brain in a quiescent state and learn to recapture focus when a kid won’t stop yelling for Sunny D.
The battery on the Lowdown Focus reportedly lasts a week and there’s a magnetic charger embedded in one of the arms. $350 (available September 2017); smithoptics.com.