The Internet age has bred a slew of newfangled gadgets, from webcams to wireless keyboards and now, a whole new category of eyeglasses: digital performance eyewear. Think of it as a kind of indoor sunglasses for computer users. Leading the way in the development of this type of eyewear is GUNNAR Optiks, whose glasses are designed to relieve the effects that stem from prolonged viewing of computer screens and other digital devices such as PDAs and cell phones.
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GUNNAR’s "i-AMP" lens technology relaxes the eye muscles that strain to view text and images at close distances. By improving eye focus, reducing glare, and blocking artificial and reflective light, this technology gives computer users better optical performance, prevents eye fatigue and protects against computer vision syndrome (yes, there is such a syndrome, according to the American Optometric Association).
The San Diego-based company offers 15 different styles of eyeglasses, moderately priced between $89 to $189 and available with or without prescription lenses. We gave "Edge," from GUNNAR's "Catalyst" collection, a try. We appreciated its light weight and comfortable design. The glasses produced a brightening effect and slight magnification as well. We also noticed an increase in contrast, resolution and detail. The only drawback is the yellow tint, which distorts colors on the screen, making it less than ideal for those who work primarily with graphics. The glasses, however, would definitely benefit anyone who views on-screen text and data on a daily basis. With the amount of time most of us spend in front of a computer monitor, it might not be long before digital performance eyewear becomes a staple rather than a novelty.