Vue: Wearing Glasses Just Became More Fun
Vue Smart Glasses have raised over $2.2 million in pledges on Kickstarter, surpassing the founders’ original goal of $50,000 more than 40 times over. Vue is the second product launched by its cofounder Jason Gui, the first being a less successful product Vigo, a wearable device that monitors your alertness.
The idea for Vue stemmed from the conception of Vigo.
“Originally I built smart glasses as a school project to help students stay awake in class. Then my cofounder Tiantian had the idea to ditch drowsiness detection completely and instead, add more fun features to it such as listening to music via bone conduction, tracking activity such as steps and calories burned, and finding them back if you lost them. Thus the idea for Vue was born,” Gui explained.
Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, Gui said he’s always wanted to “do his own thing.”
“I studied mechanical engineering and loved to make things, so I always wanted to create my own invention,” Gui said.
But he didn’t do it alone. Gui and his cofounder Tiantian Zhang were supported by SOSV’s HAX, the world’s first and largest hardware accelerator.
“HAX helped us a lot in understanding how manufacturing worked, and getting access to the plentiful resources in Shenzhen. We were able to 3D print our prototypes for less than $15 USD with one day turnover, whereas in the U.S. it would have costed over $50 and up to a week to receive,” Gui said.
Despite Vue’s overwhelming success so far, as with most start-ups there have been obstacles to overcome along the way.
“We’ve built and shipped hardware before, namely Vigo the drowsy driving-sensing Bluetooth headset, so we’re confident about building hardware—but there are unique challenges with Vue. Fit is one such challenge, since people have such unique head sizes and shapes. Style is the other challenge, since people are very picky about their styles. Being an electronics product we can’t have thousands of designs like many glasses retailers, so we have to find ways that work for most people,” Gui explained.
According to an update posted on Vue’s Kickstarter page, Gui and the Vue team are currently working on preparing Vue for manufacturing. There are design improvements to be made and preparation for production is on the agenda. Based on their experiences so far, Gui and the Vue team have a few words of advice for fellow entrepreneurs:
“Get feedback! Lots of it. From your customers. Vue was just a vague idea a few months ago, but we spoke to many people and interviewed people from all walks of life in depth to identify what features they were interested in and how they wanted smart glasses to improve their lives,” Gui said, adding he would recommend to anyone building hardware to “apply and dive deep into the Shenzen manufacturing scene.”
So what are Vue Smart Glasses and what do they do?
Vue Smart Glasses are versatile eyewear that come with integrated technology as well as the option for prescription, non-corrective, or sunglasses lenses. Vue’s smart features include listening to music via bone conduction speakers, tracking activity (steps, calories, and distance) and answering phone calls and receiving notifications of incoming texts and emails.
The glasses also feature customizable gesture control. There are no protruding buttons or ports on the glasses—one need only swipe or tap on the frames to control an action. For instance, when listening to music the glasses can be programmed to swipe for the next song and to tap to pause the current song.
Vue Smart Glasses have a plethora of other features including a Find My Glasses feature, an innovative charging case that doesn’t require USB plug-ins or cords of any sort, On Detection, turning on automatically when worn and turning off when not in use, and other experimental features still in the making.
Gui and the Vue team leave us anticipating the next innovation for Vue glasses, as posted on their latest Kickstarter update.
“Expect regular updates from the team to highlight progress, technical information, and any challenges along the way,” the Vue team said.