Inside A Pair Of Smart Sunglasses

If you’re willing to spend $200 USD on nothing more than 100 grams of plastic, there are a few trendy sunglasses brands that are ready to take your money before you have time to think twice. Sure, you can get a pair of sunglasses for an order of magnitude less money that do the exact same job, but the real value is in the brand stamped into the plastic and not necessarily the sunglasses themselves. Not so with this pair of Ray-Bans, though. Unlike most of their offerings, these contain a little bit more than a few bits of stylish plastic and [Becky Stern] is here to show us what’s hidden inside.

At first glance, the glasses don’t seem to be anything other than a normal pair of sunglasses, if a bit bulky But on closer inspection they hide a pair of cameras and a few other bits of electronics similar to the Google Glass, but much more subtle. The teardown demonstrates that these are not intended to be user-repairable devices, and might not be repairable at all, as even removing the hinges broke the flexible PCBs behind them. A rotary tool was needed to remove the circuit boards from the ear pieces, and a bench vice to remove the camera modules from the front frame. We can presume these glasses will not be put back together after this process.

Hidden away inside is a pair of cameras, a Snapdragon quad-core processor, capacitive touch sensors, an amplifier for a set of speakers. Mostly this is to support the recording of video and playback of audio, and not any sort of augmented reality system like Google Glass attempted to create. There are some concerning ties with Facebook associated with this product as well which will be a red flag for plenty of us around here, but besides the privacy issues, lack of repairability, and lack of features, we’d describe it as marginally less useful as an entry-level smartwatch. Of course, Google Glass had its own set of privacy-related issues too, which we saw some clever projects solve in unique ways.

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Inexpensive Reading Glasses Become Stereoscope

It’s an unfortunate consequence of growing older, that no longer are you able to read the print on a SOT-23 package or solder a QFN without magnification. Your eyes inexorably start to fail, and to have any hope of continuing a set of reading glasses is required. We have this in common with [Niklas Roy], who noticed while shopping for cheap reading glasses that their lenses were of surprisingly good quality. The result of this observation was a stereoscope made from card and a few euros worth of eyewear.

In the tradition of [Niklas]’ work it has a high level of attention to detail, which manifests itself here in a parametric web-based template generator to produce a result tailored to your glasses. It’s a fairly straightforward trapezoid shape, with a compound lens made from two sets of glasses drilled and held back-to-back with zip ties.

It served as a project for a group of children, and of course because stereo cameras are a relative rarity he also investigated taking his own pictures by moving a smartphone for left and right eye perspectives. It seems the youngsters had a lot of fun.

These lenses hadn’t come up on our radar until now, but like many goodies in a dollar store they’re certainly something to take a look at. Maybe not as a stereoscope for everyone though, some of us can’t see what the fuss is about.

Denim Sunglasses Frames Use A Wicked Set Of Jigs

An obligatory “Future’s so bright I gotta wear… denim” joke is the only way to kick off this article. Sorry!

Now that that’s out of the way, how would you turn your own blue jeans into sunglasses? Well you wouldn’t, unless you’ve built an intricate jig for assembling sunglasses frames like [Mosevic] has done. Boiled down, this is like making parts out of carbon fiber, except you swap in denim for the carbon fiber. Several layers of blue jean material are layered in a mold and impregnated with resin. Once hardened, parts can be milled or laser cut from this stock and then assembled into the frames all of the hipsters are after.

For us its the assembly jig that’s so interesting to see. [Mosevic] shared it in an unlisted video of an update to the Kickstarter campaign which ran at the end of 2019. The jig is used to align machined parts into stack ups that include brass reinforcement and pins to align layers, as well as the joining for the three parts of the frame via the metal hinges. Most of the jig is made from machined plywood. The plates that hold the three parts of the frame, the “frame front” and the two “temples” in eyeglass parlance, are interchangeable so that the same jig can be used to assemble several variants of the frame design. The most notable non-plywood part of the jig are two metal clamps that hold the hinge into the frame front as the glue dries, holding a couple of tiny chunks of denim/resin block in place.

Here you can see the jig with all clamps fully closed. There is not an insignificant amount of time just getting the parts into this jig. But parts still need quite a bit of cleanup after this process to sand, shape, and polish all edges and surfaces of the frames. And of course you have to figure in the time it took to make the parts that went into the jig in the first place. The finished frames are gorgeous, but we have a lot more respect having seen what it takes to pull it off.

Now if you like your glasses like George Washington liked his false teeth, here’s how you can pull a set of shades out of your woodshop.

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A Reminder Not To Touch Your Face

In 2020, the world is focused on the rampant spread of a new virus by the name of COVID-19. Like many infectious diseases, transmission can be reduced by good hygiene practices. To help in the fight, [Nick Bild] threw together a device he calls Sentinel.

The concept is simple. Reduce the user touching their own face by shining a warning light when such behaviour is detected. This is achieved through the use of an Arduino, which controls an LED through feedback from an ultrasonic proximity sensor. The LED is placed in the user’s peripheral vision, glowing when the sensor detects hands (or other objects) approaching the face.

While it’s unlikely to be rolled out en-masse, it’s a project that nevertheless reminds us to practice good self-care routines. And, as the adage goes, prevention is better than cure. As governments and industry grapple with the ongoing problem, consider how your supply chain may be exposed to the crisis. Video after the break.

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Bone Conducting Headphones Built Into Eye Glasses

There are times when being seen to listen to music through headphones might get you into trouble. For these moments, reach for a handy solution: bone conduction speakers that discreetly pipe the music to your eardrums through the bone of your skull. [Samuel] wanted just such a covert music listening device, so created his own in a set of 3D-printed glasses.

He first tried using an Adafruit bone-conducting transducer but found that to be too bulky. What you see here is a smaller module that [Samuel] found on AliExpress (search for bone conduction module). The GD-02 is much smaller and thus more suitable for hiding in the arm of a pair of glasses. For the rest of the electronics he used a PCB and battery from a donated set of broken Bluetooth headphones, a space for which he was able to conceal easily in the 3D-printed frame of the glasses. The battery is in one arm and the board in the other, and he says the wiring was extremely fiddly.

The result is a surprisingly svelte set of specs that you might not immediately think concealed some electronics. His choice of bright yellow filament might give the game away, but overall he’s done a great job. This certainly isn’t the first bone conduction project we’ve shown you, some of the others have used motors instead of bone conduction transducers.

Glasses Frames Crafted Out Of Wood

Most glasses and sunglasses on the market make use of metal or plastic frames. It’s relatively easy to create all manner of interesting frame geometries, tolerances can be easily controlled for fitting optical elements, and they’re robust materials that can withstand daily use. Wood falls short on all of these measures, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it to make a beautiful pair of glasses.

ZYLO is a company making wooden eyewear, and this video from [Paide] shows the build process in detail. Modern tools are used to make things as efficient as possible. Parts are lasercut and engraved to form the main part of the frames as well as the temples (the arms that sit over the ears to hold them on your face). A special jig is used to impart a curve on the laminated wood parts before further assembly is undertaken. Metal pre-fabricated hinges and screws are used to bolt everything together like most other modern sunglasses, but there’s significant hand finishing involved, including delicate inlays and highlighting logo features.

In contrast, Manuel Arroyave works very differently in the creation of his Cedoro glasses. Sheets are first laminated together, before the shape is roughed out by a special horizontal axis milling setup. Even small details like the hinges are delicately hand-crafted out of wood and fitted with tiny wooden dowels.

It goes to show that there’s always more than one way to get a job done. We’re tempted to break out the laser cutter and get started on some custom shades ourselves. Perhaps though, you’re too tired to put your sunglasses on by yourself? Nevermind, there’s a solution for that, too. Video after the break.

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Voice Controlled Glasses And Magnifying Lens

If you’re reading Hackaday, you’re probably intimately familiar with really small parts. 0201 resistors are tiny, and even smaller parts aren’t unheard of. The screws that go in your phone are minuscule, and a magnifying glass is really handy if you want to check out the detail on your 3D prints. While this is easy if you have good eyesight and you’re young, a lot of us don’t have that luxury and instead must rely on magnifying glasses and loupes. [Mauro]’s project for the Hackaday Prize makes wearing these loupes and lenses even easier by adding a voice-controlled servo.

The basic idea behind this device is simple — just mount a standard hobby servo to a pair of glasses and put a pair of loupes on a hinge. With a Raspberry Pi Zero W, controlling this servo is easy. The real trick here is adding voice control, and for that [Mauro] is using the Watson Speech to Text service. Moving a pair of loupes away from your eyes is as simple as setting up an account with the Watson Speech to Text service, and sending out API calls using NodeJS.

In addition to magnifying glasses, [Mauro] also has a few other ideas in mind on how to make this device even more useful. It could be used for welding goggles, for removing sunglasses as you’re driving through a tunnel, or it could even be adapted as an improved version of those crazy straws that suck liquid around the rim of plastic glasses. The potential here is almost limitless, and this is one of the better projects in this year’s Hackaday Prize.

You can see a video of these glasses in action (without the voice activation) after the break.

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