There is nothing worse than trying on that cool, expensive pair of sunglasses you like only to find they don’t fit right. Ultimately, you wind up trying on countless pairs until you find one that fits well enough and, if you’re lucky, looks good. For something that you may wear for hours each day, why settle for good enough?
Skelmet thinks getting the perfect pair of sunglasses shouldn’t be that hard. In order to ensure that their sports sunglasses are comfortable for everyone who wears them, they provide fully customized 3D-printed sunglasses. From kids to adults, big noses to uneven ears, their innovative Falcon 1 sunglasses are made to fit your head perfectly, thanks to scanning software and a 3-D printer.
“It includes every single person because there is no such thing as sizes,” Skelmet COO Rain Wang told Digital Trends. “Whatever your head looks like, that’s what the product is going to be like.”
To obtain that perfect custom sizing, Skelmet uses a process it calls 3D fit technology where a 3D scan analyzes 86 key points on a person’s head. This can be done with your own phone using Skelmet’s app, but results could vary. “We are still contemplating whether or not we should let people scan themselves,” continued Wang. “Because that could lead to glasses that are inaccurate.”
For better quality scans, Skelmet is partnering with stores. Cyclists can go to a bike shop, hikers can go to an outdoors shop, and trained associates will be able to take care of the scans.
“We did a survey with over 500 people including cyclists and motorcyclists,” said Wang. “Over 75 percent would rather go somewhere nearby and get it done, or have someone come over to their home and scan for them. This way, they don’t have to worry about the scans not being good enough.”
Once a scan is ready, an EOS P110 3D printer uses nylon plastic powder to form the frames. A laser fuses the material together and a custom pair of sunglasses are formed. This lightweight, flexible material allows these sports sunglasses to weigh only 17 grams. “That’s about 5 gummy bears, and that’s with the lenses,” says Wang. This makes Falcon 1 the lightest sunglasses available and 30 percent lighter than the comparable Oakley Flak Jacket glasses.
Cyclists can go to a bike shop, hikers can go to an outdoors shop, and trained associates will be able to take care of the scans.
The best frames in the world don’t mean anything without quality lenses. For this reason, Skelmet is partnering with Essilor, the world’s largest lens supplier. People can pick the lenses they want, or Skelmet can recommend suggestions based on a customer’s needs. The lenses are interchangeable too, so users won’t have to commit to just one. Lenses will be available in polarized, tinted, mirrored, single vision, progressive, or transition.
At the start, there will only be one base design to choose from, but considering every detail varies for each user based on how they will use the sunglasses, no two pair will ever be the same. For runners, the glasses will have a bigger ventilation hole for air to circulate, while cyclists will get a pair more focused on aerodynamics. Later down the line, there will be more base designs to choose from. “Each design is a different set of algorithms,” says Wang. “With Indiegogo, we only plan to roll out with one design, but internally we have about three designs.”
In the future, Skelmet wants to remove sizes for all wearables, especially head-worn products. In fact, Skelmet started as a helmet company, but it’s really hard to push custom motorcycle helmets at this stage. “A 3D-printed helmet would cost over a thousand dollars,” said Wang. “We can make sunglasses at a similar price to a pair of Oakleys, but these are 100 percent custom made.”
Currently, Skelmet’s Falcon 1 sports sunglasses are available for pre-order on Indiegogo. Early birds can order them for $230, then the price goes up to $260. Once the glasses are available at retail, the price is expected to start around $350, and will vary depending on the type of lenses selected.
As Wang puts it, “Don’t settle, and if you’re gonna settle, settle for something perfect.”
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