VSP Develops Wearable Tech with Project Genesis

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VSP Global’s innovation lab, The Shop, has developed the first wearable tech prototype from a healthcare company to seamlessly integrate health-tracking technology into optical frames.

UPDATECheck out the latest news with Project Genesis and VSP’s new tech partnership with USC’s Center for Body Computing!

The prototype, dubbed Project Genesis, was a joint research venture by The Shop’s Sacramento and New York City labs, helmed by co-leads Jay Sales and Leslie Muller.

WHAT IT IS
Housed within the temple of Dragon Alliance frames, the current prototype accurately tracks steps, calories burned, and distance traveled. Wearers can monitor their stats in real time through the accompanying Android app, also designed by The Shop.

“Eyewear has been the most successful piece of ‘wearable technology’ for over 700 years,” says Muller. “With Genesis, we’re now adding additional value into the frame, but doing so in a seamless, fully integrated design that creates a richer experience for the wearer.”

DRAGON ALLIANCE
Dragon is one of the incredible brands that VSP operates through our eyewear division, Marchon. Dragon’s own active, adventurous and innovative DNA made it the perfect fit for this project. As we explore new generations of the device, we look forward to integrating the technology into a number of frames on Marchon’s enviable family of owned and licensed brands.

PROTOTYPE STAGE
We wanted to first test the capabilities of a product like this with our own employees on our campus in Sacramento, California. A group of 26 beta testers have been wearing the frames, tracking their progress, and providing invaluable feedback. This has allowed our talented team of Shop engineers to provide real-time hardware and software fixes as we develop the next generation of the prototype.

FUNCTIONALITY TODAY
We wanted to start small. Today’s prototype includes high-tech sensors found in many other fitness trackers on the market today, including an accelerometer, a magnetometer, and a gyroscope to track steps, calories burned and distance traveled. The accompanying Android app lets the wearer track his or  her progress in real time. Bluetooth syncs Genesis to the app; an embedded battery offers a three-day run time between 30-minute charges.

Our ultimate goal with this project is to provide the wearer with contextualized health data about themselves.

CONTEXTUAL HEALTH
“Ultimately, this is not about just tracking steps and calories,” says Jay. “The goal with this project is to build on these initial capabilities and, in the future, provide our members with Contextual Health data about themselves that they can then use to feel empowered and make better decisions in their lives.”

Contextual Health is the concept of tracking one’s health metrics (steps, calories, heart rate, posture, gait, and much more) over a period of time. Through that data, the individual then has the potential to start identifying trends and behaviors that could create a more proactive healthcare model.

In this way, Contextual Health has emerged as an area of focus for The Shop, allowing VSP to explore solutions for a more holistic understanding of an individual’s overall health and wellness, which could result in better care.

It all boils down to spotting potential problems with your health before they become an issue, identifying the causes, and being empowered to do something about it.

NEXT STEPS
As Jay says in the video, “this is day one–this is nanosecond one.” We’re so excited about the potential of Project Genesis and are forging ahead with additional research, testing, and newer versions of the device. We have the opportunity to work with some incredible partners already and are continuing to seek out new partnerships with other companies, start-ups and academic minds.

As Genesis continues to evolve, we’ll keep you updated on new developments. With our 60-year history in the eye care and eyewear industries, we’re so proud to be able to help drive technological advancements like this and provide solutions for the changing needs of our members over the next 60 years.

PARTNERS
We’re always curious to explore new partnerships inside and outside our industry with companies, start-ups and academic institutions. Send Jay Sales and Leslie Muller a note at TalkShop@vsp.com. We may be able to work together.

Photo: The first Project Genesis prototype seamlessly integrates the health-tracking sensors, battery and Bluetooth technology in to the left temple of this Dragon Alliance frame. Can’t tell it’s there? That’s the point.

 

Project Genesis

 

About The SHOP
VSP Global has been an innovative company for 60 years. Today, that spirit has a home in The SHOP, our innovation lab that focuses on developing technologies for the physical and digital aspects of eyewear and eye care. As disruption continues to change our industry, The SHOP will allow VSP Global businesses to stay ahead of the curve and provide forward-thinking solutions for our members worldwide.

The SHOP West
Located inside a former auto showroom in midtown Sacramento, the West Coast SHOP stands at the intersection of software and hardware (“the bits”) and focuses on delivering better eye care and products to patients and better workflow services to doctors.

The SHOP East
Inside Marchon Eyewear’s design center in the heart of Manhattan’s Garment District, The East Coast SHOP explores how to push boundaries in industrial design, alternative manufacturing and materials (“the atoms”), and other technologies to reinvent the way eyewear is created, utilized and worn.

82 Comments

  • Doug Jensen says:

    Awsome glasses! That is a great direction to integrate health tracking with glasses. I hope you incorporate a cool prescription sunglass.

  • Lynn Greenberg says:

    I loved reading about your ventures into technology in glasses. Please keep me informed. I’m very excited about what you are doing and would be happy to beta test for you “out in the real world” when you are ready. I’m one of your active senior citizens. Thanks and good luck! lynn

  • Rufus Murphy says:

    I’ve tested Google’s wearable technology but looked absolutely ridiculous wearing it. Finally, you have introduced a sensible wearable pair of glasses where the technology is hidden inside designer frames – ingenious! Please notify me as an interested Beta Tester when the time comes. Keep up this great and innovative work.

  • Bill says:

    Looks god but is it affordable and what portion will be covered by our plan?

  • Mary Hodgson says:

    Jay Sales and Leslie Muller, Amazing work and creativity! I would buy these glasses in a second and would me more excited if it could track my sugars f or me as the Dexcom Platinum G4 that I wear on a daily basis cam be kind of a pain. It looks like a pager and has to be kept on the outside of your clothing. Leaving it so that you have to dress so that you have room for it. If you would like to use me for a test person on a prototype I’m all in. I can’t wait to see what you do next.
    Thanks for your information and wishing you continued success.
    Mary Hodgson
    VSP member

  • Ed Questell says:

    I am in my 60’s and would love to Bata test for for my generation where health care in very important .

  • Carole Gurney says:

    Great technology — would be very interested in testing then purchasing these glasses.

  • Gloria Jenkins says:

    WOW! what a great idea! If you are looking for testers, I’d love to help with this great concept. I helped Reebok with their shoes and I understand the responsiblity. I wish you all the best with this endeavor.

  • Jo Norton says:

    I’m very excited to see what progress has been made in technology utilizing eye-wear to help. This is something I’d love to try. Beta Testing…? Keep me in mind….thank you.

  • Ann Monson says:

    If you require people from outside your labs you might consider people from the California Dept. of Health Care Services, also in Mid-Town Sacramento. May I be the first to volunteer.

  • Juan E Santos says:

    I like the idea that you have and I to would like to see sunglasses with bi and trifocals prescription. If you need someone in Texas do some testing count me in. Keep up the research.

  • Jay Robinson says:

    I would definitely be interested in participating in Beta testing. I’ve been a wearer of glasses for 32 years, so I kinda have some definitive opinions about what works and what doesn’t. I also have some experience with various other wearable health tracking technologies. I’m excited about this innovation. Please keep me in the loop regardless of the Beta testing outcomes.

  • Alan Mathieu says:

    It would be great to be able to plug in a set of earbuds or hearing aids!

  • I just started wearing glasses this year-I also have a pedometer app on my phone which is great but can be a pain if I don’t want to have the phone directly on me. These are cool glasses! How bout I send you my prescription and I’ll wear these beaut’s for you and provide all the feedback you need? 🙂

  • Ronald Lee Barbour says:

    As with many of the other comments, I’m a senior and would gladly be a bata tester..

  • Nelda Smith says:

    I could not hear the video.

  • Rosario Cabrera says:

    Hmm…can’t wait for it to happen. Count me in to beta test this product, I come from the education community and from the life insurance industry where most people are glued to computers, tablets, smart phones and books..and getting feedback from your glasses about your health condition or even just about your eye health is very exciting!!

  • Diana says:

    Awesome idea I would love to be a beta tester

  • linda says:

    This is very exciting. I would love to participate in the testing. I have worn glasses since 1st grade, 45 years plus. Do you have a database of eyeglass wearers you will notify when your Genesis glasses are available for public consumption? Please add me to your list! Good luck!

  • Debbie Torpey says:

    Love, Love, Love this adaptation! I’ve been looking for a better looking fitness tracker. None of them meet my standards for something I would not mind wearing every day. Jay, Leslie, you are on the right track! Melding the fitness tracker I am hiding under clothing now into the glasses I am already wearing is genius! I can’t wait. Really hoping Vitality and Apple partner with you as well!

  • Donna says:

    I would love to beta test being a diabetic and having heart issue always trying to find ways to keep track of this type information

  • Gene says:

    1. Why not also include Bluetooth connect for hands free and for music?

    Why exclude Apple?

    • Raymond says:

      Apple is not excluded. Bluetooth works across various operating systems and hardware. Bluetooth is used in Android, Apple, Windows, and Linux based phones.

      • Gene says:

        There was no mention of an app for Apple

        Still wondering why a Bluetooth system incorporating hands free phone and also listen to music with some attached speakers.

        I think those 2 additional features will make these glasses bad ass.

        Imagine answering the phone or seeing the caller ID flash across the lens. Call your doctor and discuss the results your seeing on your lens.
        Listen to your music without an earbud.

        Raymond you missed my points completely.

    • Linda says:

      Good points Gene. One of the first things that came to my mind was that Bluetooth connect for hands free and for music would add invaluable marketable appeal to the product.

  • Suzanne Canalita says:

    This all sounds amazing. I wish you luck. I’m 65 years yound and consider myself very healthy so it would be intresting to be in a test and see what the computer comes up with.

  • Jannette Garcia says:

    wow – thats great, innovative, exciting.

  • Phyllis says:

    This sounds wonderful I would be willing to be in the testing of these glasses. Have worn glasses for many years. P.S. I am a former Exec Dir of VSP Western Region.

  • alyce atchison says:

    I would love to try theses. With my health issues this would help me by monitoring and help me in so many ways you have to love technology

  • Dennis R Monroe, jr says:

    Interesting, but I an curious about the weight as compared to frames of a similar style? Information technology is great, but wearable comfort ranks even higher.

  • LEIF HOFFMAN says:

    My wife and I (I am also in my 60’s) would love to be Beta Testers. I have worked in Medical Research for over 35 years and this is very exciting stuff. What you are doing is fantastic. Keep up the good work.

  • Elaine says:

    I’ll address the elephant in the room and ask when it will sync with iOS. Also wondering if the technology would set off metal detectors at airports, courtrooms, schools etc. Speaking of airports, I’m a pilot and it’s important that’s he arm of my glasses not be too thick because the noise canceling headsets need to really seal. I wear an activity tracker on my wrist; it would be great to have it in my glasses which I wear most of the time when I’m awake anyway.

    • Jay Sales says:

      I travel all the time and never had an issue with them going through TSA. IOS is on the roadmap. Thanks so much for the feedback.

  • Kay Rodman says:

    I would love to be a part of something up and coming. If there is an opportunity to be a part of this I would be interested. Staying on top of health issues is very important.

  • Sounds interesting. Would luv more details and would love to test them.

  • Elizabeth Sargent says:

    I’m not a company, but wanted to share some information. I think this is an excellent tool. When you have developed this technology enough to monitor some of the autoimmune diseases that actually affect the eyes, please let me be one of the first to try the technology. I will gladly be a beta tester. I suffer from Sjorgrens Syndrome which makes your eyes super dry and causes a film to cover your eyes. Thus, your vision is blurred throughout the day even if you use artificial tears or even steroid eye drops. The drops only give you a very short period of relief. My eye doctor was actually the one who discovered this disease for me and sent me for further testing. It also makes your skin super dry as well as your mouth, nose, and anywhere there are mucous membranes. Thanks for your hard work on developing this technology. I can see so many uses for it in the future – one step at a time!

  • Elizabeth Sargent says:

    First of all, let me congratulate you on your new technology. I think your eyeglasses are an excellent host for it. I know you are only in the beginning stages, but if you get to a point where you can have the technology monitor autoimmune diseases, please let me know. I suffer from Sjorgrens Syndrome which affects mucous membranes. It causes your eyes to become extremely dry. Even steroid drops only give me a very short period of relief. Therefore, I spend most of my time with very blurred vision, even with drops and eyeglasses. The dryness causes a film to form over your eyes. Please keep me in mind when you make it that far. I would love to be a participant. Keep growing — one step at a time!

  • Joyce Siason says:

    Will these be compatible with Apple ISO iPhone?

  • Betty Gray says:

    I can see where this can even be of use for the hearing and giving important mess. from your Dr. etc. Loving this. Betty Gray.

  • Jenny says:

    Would love to try a pair, that would be cool to see and really see what I do daily.

  • Bernadette says:

    I was interested in Google Glass when released, and was selected as an Explorer, but I couldn’t afford the device. This does SO much more and my interest is PIQUED (to say the least). I would also like to beta test, if possible, and would allow my data to be used to improve the device and well being of all.

  • Elizabeth Bushon says:

    Love this….would love to be a tester….my eyes get worse each year and heart races for no reason so the monitor would be awesome.

  • LPerez says:

    these glasses sound awesome thank you for creating them, if they will also monitor heart rate etc that would be the best invention yet.

  • James Frost says:

    I have been a VSP member for over 20 years with the federal government in Washington DC. Now I’m 70 years old, in good health, retired and still a VSP member. If you ever get to the point that you’re looking for independent individual testers by us common folks, I’d be very interested. Thanks, Jim

  • Larry Mason says:

    Here’s another active senior (walk 4.5 miles a day) who would love to test this concept out. Sign me up!

  • Robert says:

    For all the coolness, the frame only duplicates what my phone (rhymes with “dapple”) already does. It is a first step, but the goal has to be much higher while keeping the frame weight comfortable.

  • Linda Walker says:

    I am 72 years old and have worn glasses since I was 9. I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes when I was 61. VSP has been a great help with glasses and I worked as a benefit fair representative for several years beginning in 2002 or 2003. I will be interested to learn more as development and production progress.

  • Mark Huether says:

    Always looking to improve my health care, plan on visiting with my military doctor soon.

  • Harriette Jones says:

    I would love to try a pair. What a wonderful age we live in!!!

  • Stacey Clark says:

    Cool with walking stats looking forward to this

  • Sandra Gordon says:

    We own and operate a direct to consumer and business to business 55 plus distribution business. While we specialize in diabetics we distribute all types of specialty products both to our database of seniors and outside sources of 55 plus. Comfort and educational products are our specialty.

    We are located in south Flirida and privately held. We are one of the largest distributors of glucometers in the United States. We are interested in talking to you regarding using our over 65 combined years in the 55 plus market in sales and distribution.

    We were recommended by Mark Ginsberg at long time friend at Marchon

    You can also reach me by phone as well at 819-421-2999

  • pat says:

    Just recovering from a series of surgeries (4 foot, which included incisions to ankles & knees also…and 1 back & 1 spine) Finally healing/healed & ready to embark upon resumption of my walking routine! These surely would be incentive!

  • I just purchased new glasses. I also have Diabetes, heart, arthritis has me down some days. The glasses are a Great Idea for everyone with health problems and other degrees of bad health. The in enters are my hero’s? YES, I would luv to have the glasses. R

  • Tom Benton says:

    I’m an insurance technology analyst/consultant and have written and speak regularly about wearable use in the industry. I’d be very interested in a discussion about the Genesis project and in seeing/using the prototype. Please contact me so that we can set up a call. Thanks!

  • Heidi says:

    I am a nurse whom still works on the floor as well as administration and research. I would be interested in trying out these glasses. Please contact me.

  • […] Except I wasn’t in a startup. Instead, I was in the West Coast home of The Shop, a think tank innovation lab run by VSP, the nation’s largest provider of vision care insurance. It’s a little odd to think about an institution as stodgy as your insurance company having its own startup incubator, but that’s exactly what this is. In fact, I was here to find out about a product that aims to make an ordinary pair of glasses the next big thing in wearable technology. They call it Project Genesis. […]

  • […] Except I wasn’t in a startup. Instead, I was in the West Coast home of The Shop, a think tank innovation lab run by VSP, the nation’s largest provider of vision care insurance. It’s a little odd to think about an institution as stodgy as your insurance company having its own startup incubator, but that’s exactly what this is. In fact, I was here to find out about a product that aims to make an ordinary pair of glasses the next big thing in wearable technology. They call it Project Genesis. […]

  • […] Except I wasn’t in a startup. Instead, I was in the West Coast home of The Shop, a think tank innovation lab run by VSP, the nation’s largest provider of vision care insurance. It’s a little odd to think about an institution as stodgy as your insurance company having its own startup incubator, but that’s exactly what this is. In fact, I was here to find out about a product that aims to make an ordinary pair of glasses the next big thing in wearable technology. They call it Project Genesis. […]

  • […] Except I wasn’t in a startup. Instead, I was in the West Coast home of The Shop, a think tank innovation lab run by VSP, the nation’s largest provider of vision care insurance. It’s a little odd to think about an institution as stodgy as your insurance company having its own startup incubator, but that’s exactly what this is. In fact, I was here to find out about a product that aims to make an ordinary pair of glasses the next big thing in wearable technology. They call it Project Genesis. […]

  • […] Except I wasn’t in a startup. Instead, I was in the West Coast home of The Shop, a think tank innovation lab run by VSP, the nation’s largest provider of vision care insurance. It’s a little odd to think about an institution as stodgy as your insurance company having its own startup incubator, but that’s exactly what this is. In fact, I was here to find out about a product that aims to make an ordinary pair of glasses the next big thing in wearable technology. They call it Project Genesis. […]

  • […] aims to make an ordinary pair of glasses the next big thing in wearable technology. They call it Project Genesis […]

  • […] Except I wasn’t in a startup. Instead, I was in the West Coast home of The Shop, a think tank innovation lab run by VSP, the nation’s largest provider of vision care insurance. It’s a little odd to think about an institution as stodgy as your insurance company having its own startup incubator, but that’s exactly what this is. In fact, I was here to find out about a product that aims to make an ordinary pair of glasses the next big thing in wearable technology. They call it Project Genesis. […]

  • James says:

    This sounds great! Already picturing it combined with Google Glass.

  • […] Except I wasn’t in a startup. Instead, I was in the West Coast home of The Shop, a think tank innovation lab run by VSP, the nation’s largest provider of vision care insurance. It’s a little odd to think about an institution as stodgy as your insurance company having its own startup incubator, but that’s exactly what this is. In fact, I was here to find out about a product that aims to make an ordinary pair of glasses the next big thing in wearable technology. They call it Project Genesis. […]

  • […] Except I wasn’t in a startup. Instead, I was in the West Coast home of The Shop, a think tank innovation lab run by VSP, the nation’s largest provider of vision care insurance. It’s a little odd to think about an institution as stodgy as your insurance company having its own startup incubator, but that’s exactly what this is. In fact, I was here to find out about a product that aims to make an ordinary pair of glasses the next big thing in wearable technology. They call it Project Genesis. […]

  • […] Except I wasn’t in a startup. Instead, I was in the West Coast home of The Shop, a think tank innovation lab run by VSP, the nation’s largest provider of vision care insurance. It’s a little odd to think about an institution as stodgy as your insurance company having its own startup incubator, but that’s exactly what this is. In fact, I was here to find out about a product that aims to make an ordinary pair of glasses the next big thing in wearable technology. They call it Project Genesis. […]

  • […] Except I wasn’t in a startup. Instead, I was in the West Coast home of The Shop, a think tank innovation lab run by VSP, the nation’s largest provider of vision care insurance. It’s a little odd to think about an institution as stodgy as your insurance company having its own startup incubator, but that’s exactly what this is. In fact, I was here to find out about a product that aims to make an ordinary pair of glasses the next big thing in wearable technology. They call it Project Genesis. […]

  • […] Except I wasn’t in a startup. Instead, I was in the West Coast home of The Shop, a think tank innovation lab run by VSP, the nation’s largest provider of vision care insurance. It’s a little odd to think about an institution as stodgy as your insurance company having its own startup incubator, but that’s exactly what this is. In fact, I was here to find out about a product that aims to make an ordinary pair of glasses the next big thing in wearable technology. They call it Project Genesis. […]

  • […] Except I wasn’t in a startup. Instead, I was in the West Coast home of The Shop, a think tank innovation lab run by VSP, the nation’s largest provider of vision care insurance. It’s a little odd to think about an institution as stodgy as your insurance company having its own startup incubator, but that’s exactly what this is. In fact, I was here to find out about a product that aims to make an ordinary pair of glasses the next big thing in wearable technology. They call it Project Genesis. […]

  • […] Except I wasn’t in a startup. Instead, I was in the West Coast home of The Shop, a think tank innovation lab run by VSP, the nation’s largest provider of vision care insurance. It’s a little odd to think about an institution as stodgy as your insurance company having its own startup incubator, but that’s exactly what this is. In fact, I was here to find out about a product that aims to make an ordinary pair of glasses the next big thing in wearable technology. They call it Project Genesis. […]

  • […] Except I wasn’t in a startup. Instead, I was in the West Coast home of The Shop, a think tank innovation lab run by VSP, the nation’s largest provider of vision care insurance. It’s a little odd to think about an institution as stodgy as your insurance company having its own startup incubator, but that’s exactly what this is. In fact, I was here to find out about a product that aims to make an ordinary pair of glasses the next big thing in wearable technology. They call it Project Genesis. […]

  • […] Except I wasn’t in a startup. Instead, I was in the West Coast home of The Shop, a think tank innovation lab run by VSP, the nation’s largest provider of vision care insurance. It’s a little odd to think about an institution as stodgy as your insurance company having its own startup incubator, but that’s exactly what this is. In fact, I was here to find out about a product that aims to make an ordinary pair of glasses the next big thing in wearable technology. They call it Project Genesis. […]

  • […] Except I wasn’t in a startup. Instead, I was in the West Coast home of The Shop, a think tank innovation lab run by VSP, the nation’s largest provider of vision care insurance. It’s a little odd to think about an institution as stodgy as your insurance company having its own startup incubator, but that’s exactly what this is. In fact, I was here to find out about a product that aims to make an ordinary pair of glasses the next big thing in wearable technology. They call it Project Genesis. […]

  • […] Except I wasn’t in a startup. Instead, I was in the West Coast home of The Shop, a think tank innovation lab run by VSP, the nation’s largest provider of vision care insurance. It’s a little odd to think about an institution as stodgy as your insurance company having its own startup incubator, but that’s exactly what this is. In fact, I was here to find out about a product that aims to make an ordinary pair of glasses the next big thing in wearable technology. They call it Project Genesis. […]

  • J.Reg Luis says:

    I want the sharpest vision that I can have!!!

  • Mike Froehner says:

    Let me know when I may check out the Project Genesis system integrated in Eyewear. I am retired from Hearing Healthcare, wear a Fitbit everyday and interested in technology.
    Thank you.

  • Raul Rivas says:

    I would love to try this new technology. I wear glasses and have for all my life. I have astigmatism more on my right eye than my left one, would I be a perfect fit for this technology???

  • Sol Franqueira says:

    I am going to be 47 on September 26 and working in a experimental lab all ready wearing to much a lab coat,safety glasses gloves I do not need any more stuff that is why I love this product is genius if You need people to test I will be happy to do it.
    Sol F

  • Brandy says:

    I would love to try out this new technology and possibly become a beta tester for you guys! I have worn glasses for as long as I can remember and I also am constantly trying to find new ways to track my steps and calories and all that goodness!

  • […] Except I wasn’t in a startup. Instead, I was in the West Coast home of The Shop, a think tank innovation lab run by VSP, the nation’s largest provider of vision care insurance. It’s a little odd to think about an institution as stodgy as your insurance company having its own startup incubator, but that’s exactly what this is. In fact, I was here to find out about a product that aims to make an ordinary pair of glasses the next big thing in wearable technology. They call it Project Genesis. […]

  • Mark Stone says:

    I have 30 years of experience in Technology. Many as a Beta Tester. Please contact me about this project.

  • […] known as Project Genesis, the prototype is the first wearable from a healthcare company to seamlessly integrate […]

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