BooEnn Sunglasses – Powered by the Sun
Our first new product review for Chris on Cars comes from a company called BooEnn. The product is a set of smart driving glasses with “anti-collision” lenses that change instantly depending on light. Powered by a low power consumption solar battery mounted right above the nose, they act to brighten or darken the lenses, depending on conditions.
For a start, the idea is pretty standard. Many sunglass companies over the years have offered lenses that change with the lighting conditions. The major difference here is that these lenses are made from a patented flexible LCD material, and the transition is amazingly fast.
Packaging – The box is similar to an iPhone, but lime green in color. The packaging includes a lime green cleaning cloth, a matching pouch to hold the glasses, and company literature that is badly translated from its original language. The packaging is in line with the expected price point for the glasses, and has an expensive feel.
Specifications – The sunglasses are made from something called Ultra-light Antiskid TR100, according to the company literature, a “light weight, collision-resistant, high temperature-resistant material with no chemical residue release”, which is in line with European requirements for food grade material. I’m not sure what that means, but it could be soy based or some sort of “green” material. The lenses are a flexible LCD material made from 13 layers of nano-materials, all designed to improve visibility.
Drive Power: Solar battery
Reaction time(s): ≤0.2
Visible light transmittance（%）：≤35%
Ultraviolet rays: UV400
Size (mm）: General frame: 340*165*15
Lens material: Plastic flexible liquid crystal
Frame material: TR100
Design – The frame design is bulky, and not very attractive. The glasses are large and wide, and tend to sit high on your face due to the molded nose pads. When worn, the glasses tend to be large on the face and stick out at least a quarter inch on each side of my head. Overall, the look is something between Buddy Holly and Giordi from Star Trek. When folded, the glasses do not fold flat, so pocketing them is out of the question.
Functionality – The glasses function well and work as described. The darkening effect from shade to sunlight is amazingly quick, and visibility is definitely improved with the glasses. Even in conditions that require the lenses to change continually, the transitions are quick and not distracting.
Overall – While the design of the frame needs work, the technology is so good that I would buy a pair myself. After checking with friends, most decided they would tolerate the terrible design of the frame to have the technology. BooEnn has not announced a specific price for the glasses, but I was told they are initiating an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaignwith prices ranging from $75-$150 depending on the perk. I am also told that the company plans to update its marketing literature to be more in line with US standards, and tweak the design to be more fashion conscious.
Rating – On a scale of 1-5, I would rate these a 3, with the caveat that if BooEnn tweaks the frame design to be more fashionable, they would be a 5.
Article by Chris Raymond
Photos by Chris Raymond and Booenn.com