“Screen, screen, everywhere a screen
Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the screen?”
How’s that for a modern refresh on the 1971 song “Signs”? If you and your eyeballs are tired of catching screens in every direction you look these days, a new pair of glasses could go a long way in helping you catch a break.
IRL Glasses launched on Kickstarter this week and are the brainchild of Scott Blew, an entrepreneur and engineer, and Ivan Cash, an artist. The glasses work by allowing users to see everything in their environment — except what’s being emitted by TVs and computers, which appear black. The video above shows all that screen noise going away in places such as a sports bar.
According to the Kickstarter, where IRL has raised almost $90,000 after setting a goal of $25,000, the glasses block LCD/LED screens through horizontal polarized optics. “By flattening and rotating the polarized lens 90 degrees, light emitted by LCD/LED screens is blocked, making it look like the TV or computer in front of you is off,” a description reads.
A pledge of $49 on Kickstarter will get you a pair of glasses on Kickstarter, discounted from a retail price of $79, with delivery estimated for next April.
“A lot of my works revolves around technology and humanity and specifically encouraging people to disconnect to reconnect,” Cash said, adding that screens are a daily distraction that leave us feeling powerless.
But don’t expect to tune out the most ubiquitous screens of our time, yet.
As Wired notes, the IRL lenses lenses can block light emitted from LCD and LED screens, but not OLED screens, meaning that most televisions and some computers are blacked out, “but not the newer crop of smartphones like the OLED-packing iPhones.”
Blew said Kickstarter funds will help them dig into the R&D and eventually block out “all screens, including smartphones, which are everywhere now.”