Lucyd Co-founder and Media Lead Harrison Gross shares what we can expect from Lucyd’s smartglass eShop and the company’s vision for wearable tech.
Lucyd, the AR smartglass and blockchain developer, is designing a range of prescription-enabled AR smartglasses. These fashionable glasses are intended to provide a degree of hands-free control over other smart devices while feeding users useful information into their vision or hearing. Lucyd’s platform consists of three main components: AR smartglasses, an eyewear eShop where they can be customized and ordered, and a blockchain app store. The app store is being developed as a decentralized hub where smartglass developers and users can freely exchange AR apps and media for the LCD utility token. In addition to all of this, Lucyd is developing apps to improve the synergy of wearables and IoT devices with each other and with blockchain technology.
Lucyd concluded their token generation event in February 2018 and have launched their eShop, which features initially features a bone conduction Bluetooth “soundglass,” and some other unique frames. They expect to launch the beta Lucyd Lens, a graphical AR smartglass, in Q1 2019. We sat down with co-founder and Media Lead Harrison Gross to talk about Lucyd’s smartglasses and what the futures of AR and wearable tech will look like.
Before we get into the future potential of Lucyd’s smartglasses, let’s start with the here and now. Could you please tell us why Lucyd is based in Singapore as opposed to the West?
Harrison Gross (HG):
We choose Singapore because it is a financial hub and is developing a reputation as a great spot for blockchain projects. In 2017 The World Economic forum rated Singapore among the top three countries in the world in terms of global competitiveness.
We are trying to become an international retailer of prescription eyewear and Singapore lets us effectively reach other Asian markets such as Japan. This might be harder if we were based, say, in the United States.
However, we are still a global company. A lot of our team is located in the US and we have team members and science advisors all over the world. We have an excellent team of people relevant to smartglasses including opticians, optometrists, vision experts, consumer electronics and ergonomics experts.
So, locating in Singapore helps Lucyd better localize its product offering to Asian markets?
Yes, absolutely. It opens up Asia for us in ways that we couldn’t have done otherwise.
What is Lucyd’s overall mission, and what can we expect in the near term?
Lucyd’s mission is to upgrade your eyewear. We want to offer functional and fashionable prescription glasses with useful AR features.
A big problem in the current AR/VR space is that current headsets aren’t functional as eyeglasses. They are either large VR helmets or clunky AR glasses with protruding lenses. This is not good enough because we live in a world where most of us need prescription eyewear (something like 75% of the US population requires prescription eyewear to see perfectly). Lucyd can address that need with our prescription smartglasses while providing additional features such as handsfree navigation, communication and cryptocurrency transfers
One of our first products, Lucyd LOUD®, is being developed in-house and is a bone conduction audio smartglass. This model won’t display graphics, but you will have the ability to communicate with your smartphone or smartwatch using voice commands. We believe that this is a basic but essential wearable and a good place to start to attract mainstream users. Lucyd LOUD® should be totally functional as prescription eyeglasses while boasting extra features for a relatively inexpensive price.
We want to have a perfect pair for everyone, so we’re also looking at some cutting-edge tech and designer frames to offer. One design we were looking at involves the stems of the frame pivoting on a free axis where they have a special joint. This makes the frame very difficult to break or bend out of shape – you could safely play basketball wearing them, for example.
Going forward, we want to introduce more AR features into our smartglasses – features that can improve your vision with easier access to information, easier access to AI assistance, better interactivity with the real world, etc. We are also thinking of using photochromic lenses to protect wearers from ultraviolet (UV) radiation and allow customers to consult an eye doctor before buying a smartglass (we just signed an eye doctor for this).
Customers will also be able to pay for Lucyd products using cryptocurrencies, which will help us when we launch our tokenized app store. We want to cater to the crypto community as well as standard eyeglass wearers and early adopters of AR/VR. We aim to get the general public involved in our LCD token and use it to buy smartglass apps in our app store. We want to get them excited about blockchain and crypto by letting them do things like sending LCD tokens from one smartglass to another.
Overall, we want to make Lucyd smartglasses a product that fits every lifestyle.
When it comes to blockchain startups like Lucyd, users and investors focus on viable use cases. What kind of cool but viable use cases will Lucyd’s AR smartglasses have?
There are two smartglasses that we are working on. The product I mentioned, Lucyd LOUD®, is just our first device.
When it comes to advanced smartglasses, there are an unlimited number of used cases. We’ll start to see this once the technology and interfaces improve to allow things like hand gesture tracking and being able to control smartglasses in ways tailored to the individual user’s needs.
We see tremendous potential in areas like accessing cryptocurrency information on the fly, and we think our users will become used to the convenience of seeing all of this information overlaid on their field of vision.
At Lucyd we see the world moving to a wearable-oriented future. Things done using smartphones or smartwatches could be done using smartglasses in the near future – making phone calls, replying to SMS messages, social media notifications, or performing Google searches, for example. It will be more convenient to use smartglasses for these simple activities as opposed to pulling out a smartphone all the time. Also in the near future, smartglasses could be cellular-enabled standalone devices, much like the newest smartwatches. This will enable the user to have many of the critical functions of a smartphone in their glasses, without the need for additional devices on their person. Personally, I would find this more comfortable for those times when I am going out but don’t need to check email.
Overall, we believe that Lucyd smartglasses can make you more effective at basically anything that you do by providing useful data feeds and functionality overlaid on the real world. For example, my sister is a doctor, and if she wants to be able to perform tissue analysis with augmented reality, she can potentially use an AR app with a smartglass and just look at the skin sample. An app could then immediately feed her all kinds of information about the tissue sample. This would be far more effective than sending the sample to a lab for testing and waiting days at a time.
We can talk about use cases all day, but basically an AR smartglass can take what you already do every day and make it easier. Whether you are a businessman or doctor or an athlete, many of the things you do can be enhanced by AR because smartglasses can improve the flow of information to you. It is even more convenient when that info comes to you in a comfortable wearable item that you use every day, such as eyeglasses. Once AR reaches that level and the advantages of smartglasses like ours become clear, the technology should become mainstream in the next few years.
Are you developing any AR apps for Lucyd smartglasses? Could you give us one or two examples of what we can expect soon?
We are currently developing two apps (with more to come in future). Our first app is called LINK and is made to work with Lucyd LOUD®. The second app is an LCD token wallet app for storing and sending LCD tokens among various devices.
LINK will improve the synergy between wearables and IoT devices. The app will improve the information flow between your smartglass, your smartwatch, your phone or other IoT devices in your home or car. LINK will make it easy to control eligible IoT devices from any other eligible device. For example, we envision use cases when you walk can into your house and control your lights with your smartglass or get into your car and see information from your car’s computer on your glasses. In essence, we want LINK to make all of your devices more effective by interconnecting them.
Our second app is an LCD token wallet app, which will help you manage and transfer LCD tokens among various devices, for example, sending tokens from one smartglass to another. The app could also be used to purchase items on our eShop. We also envision things like token rewards systems and airdrops for our eShop customers. For example, buyers of Lucyd smartglasses could receive a few LCD tokens along with tutorials on how to transfer tokens among devices. This could be the first introduction to blockchain tech for many people and should get them excited and engaged with our products.
So, should Lucyd customers expect a future where they can use their smartglass to interact hands-free with their surroundings?
Eventually, more advancements in AR will make the computing platform more responsive to your surroundings, for example, instantly translating any foreign-language text you see. This is still an emerging space, but the potential is there. This is one of the few areas left where technology hasn’t quite caught up with our dreams yet. But it is close.
Finally, where does Lucyd see itself five years down the road? And what should customers expect in the next five years?
In 5 years we hope to be a successful international retailer of smartglasses and other high-tech glasses. We intend to have a global user base, strong utility for our LCD token and have the token trading with good volume while being used to purchase Lucyd products and AR apps. At the same time, we want to unite the world’s AR developers in one community, on one hardware platform. This is really where blockchain comes in for us—we want to provide the hardware for the AR revolution, but we need amazing developers from all over the world to help it go mainstream with useful software. Blockchains, in our case Ethereum, allows us to create an open ledger of all contributions to the Lucyd platform, and automatically reward them, while at the same time providing a highly secure, highly convenient (in-glass) transactional medium for our community.
Within the next year we will have our AR smartglass beta running. We will soon issue an update about our glasses for the community and will be heavily involved in testing for around three to six months in Q1 2019. Then comes the commercial release of Lucid Lens, our AR smart glass, later next year. The two apps I mentioned should also be out in the next year.
For now, though, we are adding to our team and have just launched our eShop! We recently added an optometrist and eye surgeon who bring a lot of eye health expertise. With all the progress we have made since founding last September, we will be ready to move from being a startup to a fully functional and hopefully profitable international business in the coming year.
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