Conventional wisdom is that if your eyes hurt from staring at screens too long you need to take a break, maybe go outside and have fun looking at objects that aren't two feet away from your face. Well, conventional wisdom never reckoned with the Aurai — a water-filled eye massager from Taiwan that looks like a VR headset, but is only supposed to transport you to the magical world of Life Without Eye Strain.
The Aurai's creators say it relieves all sorts of eye problems, including puffiness, itching, and watering, all by circulating either hot or cold water around a soft silicon compress. The water is fed in via a hose and water bottle (what happens if you use fizzy water instead of plain I wonder?) and there are all the modes and settings you'd expect to adjust temperature and massage time and so on. It's on Kickstarter now and has already raised more than six times its $50,000 goal, with the headset still available for $149 (compared to a retail price of $239).
(Image credit: Aurai)
And does it actually work? Well, who knows. There don't appear to have been any medical studies on the Aurai's efficacy, so it's definitely not a clinical device. But it does, apparently, feel pretty good to use. There are plenty of clips of people going "oh yeah, that's alright actually," as water is swirled around in a plastic bag resting on their face, and quoted testimonials include the strikingly mundane: "It feels like a moist being applied on your eyes."
Well, there we are. A quarter of a million dollars in funding for a gadget that recreates the feeling of using a wet wipe. But if it means I can spend more of my life staring painlessly at screens, screens, and more screens, then it's probably worth it.