VSP Global Launches Level Smart Glasses

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RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif.—VSP Global is entering the wearable technology category with the launch of Level, a smart glass that features activity-tracking technology embedded inside the temple of an optical frame. The technology tracks activity via an accompanying smartphone app. As users reach daily step goals they earn points redeemable for a donation of vision care services to people in need. “We’re thrilled to bring Level smart glasses to market and offer our members an opportunity to apply their vision care benefits toward the purchase of a meaningful wearable device,” said Kate Renwick-Espinosa, president of VSP Vision Care.

“Level combines expertise from the best of VSP Global’s businesses, including health care, fashion, technology and philanthropy. And we’re especially proud to launch Level in partnership with VSP network doctors.”

VSP Global is selling Level through hundreds of independent optometry practices participating in the VSP Global Premier Program within select U.S. markets. The product will launch initially in Sacramento, Calif. in March, followed by additional market rollouts in April to Seattle, Wash.; Portland, Ore.; Denver, Colo.; Minneapolis, Minn.; and Washington, D.C. Additional information about product availability is posted on the Level website. Based on initial consumer demand and feedback, plans for a wider market rollout will be announced at a later date, VSP Global said.

With technology to track steps, calories burned, distance, and total activity time concealed inside the left temple of the frame, Level looks like conventional eyewear. The unisex frames, which are available in a variety of styles, were designed by The Shop, VSP’s innovation lab, and produced in Italy through its Marchon eyewear division.

Level smart glasses began in 2015 as the Project Genesis prototype within The Shop. A partnership and academic study with USC Center for Body Computing followed in 2016, with results published last September in the NEJM Catalyst.

“Our work with USC Center for Body Computing allowed us to apply a unique degree of academic rigor to the Level project,” said Jay Sales, co-director of The Shop. “The opportunity to debut the prototype with a large test population was a critical step to first validating both the form factor and the technology. We knew we wanted to create something of value, not just another wearable novelty.”

Matthew Alpert, OD, a VSP Global board member and network doctor, said he is excited about the rise of wearable technology and being able to serve as a resource for patients who are interested in smart glasses.

“Level incorporates technology into eyewear in an accessible and meaningful way,” said Alpert, who discusses the smart glasses in this video. “And by partnering with VSP network doctors to sell Level, we want to ensure eye health—including an annual, comprehensive eye exam—remains top of mind for anyone interested in smart eyewear.”

Level’s charitable giving component also syncs with VSP Global’s Eyes of Hope initiatives and awards points to users who reach their daily step goals. Once 50 points are achieved, a comprehensive eye exam and eyewear are gifted to an individual in need. Level users can select for their donation to benefit one of four demographics, including veterans, children, the elderly or individuals affected by homelessness.

Watch this video from VSP Global for additional information about Level.