If wearing a Fitbit on your wrist is too difficult, maybe you should consider a fitness tracker on your face. Eye insurance provider VSP Global is launching a pair of smart glasses today called Level that keep track of a wearer’s movement. They pair over Bluetooth to a companion iOS / Android app. A frame costs $270, which doesn’t include lenses.
The inside of the glasses is relatively simple and what you’d expect. There’s an accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer that work together to track steps, distance, calories burned, and total activity time. It charges over a magnetic connector and should last about five days on a single charge. There are three different frame styles available in four different colors: black, tortoise, slate, and grey tortoise.
VSP has also added gamified the experience in an odd way: if wearers reach daily step goals, they earn points that translate to care for people who need help affording vision care. So 50 points provides an eye exam and eyewear to someone in need, which is nice! But strangely, users can qualify their donations so that they only go to one specific group, including veterans, children, the elderly, or people who are homeless. I think the company should have just gone with the TOMS model, where they give people a pair of glasses for every pair bought, without making everyone choose who receives care. VSP says it wants people to have the option to walk for the group of their choosing, however.
As far as the product goes, activity-tracking glasses seem useful. I definitely wear my glasses every day, unlike my long-lost smartwatch. But at the same time, I probably won’t be able to keep it charged, and I’d have to do my charging at night when I’m sleeping. It’s not like I can take my glasses off in the middle of wearing them and start charging them. At least the lenses work without a charge, even if I can’t track my activity.
Update February 22nd, 3:46 PM ET: Updated to include comment from VSP about activity rewards.