It’s inevitable. You finally find that perfect pair of sunglasses that don’t make you look like a dingus, convince yourself to lay out an absurd amount of money to buy them… And then you leave them in a public bathroom, never to be seen again. The folks at Tzukuri want to end that, with iBeacon-powered shades that send an alert to your iPhone when you leave them behind.
Tzukuri’s secret is a teensy-weensy 3mm-wide Bluetooth Low Energy chip embedded in the temple of the acetate sunglass frames. Once you’ve paired your sunglasses with your iPhone (and, holy cow, is that ever a phrase that guarantees you’re living in The Future), the Tzukuri app sends an alert once your phone gets 5m away from your glasses. Further alerts come in at 10m and 15m, unless you dismiss the first alert to tell your phone “I’m not wearing my stunner shades today, thanks.”
It also works the other way: if you walk off looking fly, but leave your iPhone on the counter, the app will realise your phone is sitting still while your sunglasses move away, and trigger an extra loud ring from your abandoned phone. Luckily, the app learns when you’re at home or work, so you don’t get blasted every time your phone and shades part ways.
The niftiest part of all though, is that once you pair the sunglasses, that’s about all you’ll ever have to do. A tiny solar cell on the sunglasses’s Bluetooth chip keeps the transponder constantly juiced, and if it needs a recharging a message will pop up on your phone telling you to put your sunglasses in the sun for an hour or so.
If you happen to somehow ignore all those safety nets, and end up more than a few dozen yards from your glasses, the app saves the last location where your shades and your phone were in the same place, and lets you retrace your steps on the map. Of course, all of this is moot if you don’t like any of the six styles Tzukuri plans to offer.
Tzukuri says the glasses will be available around December 2014. You can pay $US50 now to get in on the first batch priced at $US250 — or wait until they hit the streets, when the price will go up by $US100.