/ Cory Doctorow / 3 am Tue, Nov 1 2016
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  • Kickstarting Reflectacles: super-reflective glasses-frames that look amazing

    Kickstarting Reflectacles: super-reflective glasses-frames that look amazing

    Scott Urban's new Reflectacles glasses are Ray Ban-style frames that are embedded with the kind of retroreflective cat-eye materials used for highway markers, making them reflective at 500 yards at night, and nearly that visible by day. He's kickstarting them at an astoundingly cheap $85/pair, in seven colors.

    I've been wearing and writing about Urban's frames for more than a decade, ever since I noticed his hand-carved frames, and then discovered the other handmade glasses he was experimenting with: like glasses made from old beer bottles ("beer goggles!"); vinyl records; and bicycle gears.

    Last spring, Urban got in touch with me about this project and asked if I'd test-drive a pair. I enthusiastically agreed, and took delivery of a pair of retroreflective safety orange frames that I've worn nearly constantly since. People in eight cities have stopped me on the street to ask where they could get their own pair, and they were the hit of the playa at Burning Man this year -- they turned out especially great in the dark, catching the ambient light of the art cars and the flashes on peoples' cameras.

    The design and construction of Urban's glasses reflect his long experience in custom frames, with soldered/thermally fused hinges, adjustable temples and clever, comfortable nosepads.

    The price includes non-prescription tinted lenses. I have a pretty complicated prescription, so I've ordered two pairs, and I'll get my optometrist to make tinted and clear lenses for them. Urban is planning delivery in June 2017.

    Reflectacles - Reflective Eyewear and Sunglasses [Scott Urban/Kickstarter]

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