The crazy f.lashes wearable, which is taking crowdfunding website Kickstarter by storm, is the kind of product a hardcore party-goer would create, if they happened to live in the neon-drenched future depicted in Blade Runner. The name gives away what they are: A set of false eyelashes that have a series of LED lights built in, which flash and pulse in time with your movements. Yes, it’s the piece of wearable tech no-one asked for, but apparently everyone wants, because the campaign has smashed its $40.000 target with more than $93,000 pledged at the time of writing.
The f.lashes appear to attach in the same way a regular set of false eyelashes attach — not that I wear them particularly often to truly know, so please feel free to correct me — and a demonstration video shows them going on in a matter of seconds. Once on your eyes, they display one of five different patterns, all given ridiculous names like, “hyper burst,” “endless winks,” and the highly appropriate “knight riding,” which resembles the light on the front of K.I.T.T. in the Knight Rider TV show. If that’s not a selling point, we have no idea what is.
If you’re out partying, striding down the catwalk, or heading out for groceries on a Friday night, the f.lashes have the potential to look cool. However, these aren’t wireless components, and you’re going to have to make some compromises to wear them. Each eyelash has a thin wire coming from it, which leads to a main control unit that fits around the back of your head. It stays in place with hair clips, and needs to be in this position to respond to your movements. It’s definitely made to be hidden, as the company seems to have gone for the not-really-finished look of a circuit board that has a few buttons on the front, and a coin cell battery slot. It lasts for about five hours before it needs to be replaced.
If you’re worried f.lashes are a retina-searing accident waiting to happen, apparently they give off no heat, are weather-resistant, and the battery is highly unlikely to do any exploding. The LED lights point upward, so you aren’t blinded when wearing them. The price for this madness? $40 gets you a controller and a set of f.lashes in one of the available colors. Spend $100, and you get all seven different color lashes. The campaign has been funded, so it better not be an elaborate gag, and delivery is expected to take place in January 2018.
We have to ask, will you be f.lashing?