Son-of-Reflectacles: Kickstarting a new generation of anti-surveillance eyewear

Eccentric eyewear maker Scott Urban first kickstarted his "Reflectacles" frames in 2016; the frames used emedded retroreflectors to make them throw back tons of light, making them highly visible (and great for things like night cycling); subsequent iterations beefed up the IR reflectivity, which blinded many CCTV surveillance cameras (they use IR to paint low-light scenes, and their sensors can be overwhelmed if enough of that IR bounces back at them).

crowdfunder for a new kind of privacy-focused eyewear, with both frames and lenses (as well as clip-on lens-shades) that bounce back IR light in great quantities, confounding not only CCTVs, but also facial recognition via 3D dot matrix mapping and laser scanning; they also confound retinal tracking systems.

The new crowdfunder has three different products in it:

* The Irpair ($124): custom acetate frames in a mix of colors, with tinted lenses that are IR opaque (the IR blocking does not affect the passage of visible light) to block facial recognition, retinal scanning, and eye tracking;

* The Phantom ($124): black, Ray-Ban-style frames with IR-reflective surfaces that throw back IR light to confound CCTVs' sensors; they come with IR-opaque lenses that 3D dot matrix mapping and laser scanning;

* Irclip ($48): clip on tinted lenses that are IR opaque to block facial recognition, retinal scanning, and eye tracking.

I've been wearing Phantoms for six or seven months now (Urban was kind enough to send me a production sample to try out) and I love them -- the anti-surveillance elements are fun and somewhat reassuring, but it helps that they also look great (I've lost track of the number of spontaneous compliments from strangers they've garnered!).

Every crowdfunder carries the risk that you will hand over your money and get nothing in return, but Urban has a long track record of making good on these promises. I really love his glasses (I've been wearing them for over a decade), and it's exciting to see the merging of privacy and fashion happening in realtime. Urban is promising delivery in April 2020.

I backed it.

Since IRpair blocks infrared radiation at the lens, 3D IR facial mapping will not be able to read the critical eye measurements for a match during both day and night. Unlike regular sunglasses that become clear in the presence of IR, IRpair's lenses turn dark black on traditional surveillance cameras using IR in low light situations. Wear IRpair to deny facial recognition access to your eyes.

The foundation of IRpair’s anti-facial recognition functionality relies solely within the lenses. IRlight and IRdark lenses are made with specially formulated optical filters that absorb the near infrared spectrum which is critical for 3D facial mapping, eye tracking and illumination on average IR security cameras. Any device using IR in the forms of laser or lamp will not be able to obtain the necessary eye biometrics for facial recognition. IRpair shields infrared radiation from your eyes and guards your privacy.

IRlenses also filter out the visible blue light spectrum allowing your vision to be more bright, crisp and clear. You will have more perception of depth and you will notice a reduction in the effects of smoke, haze and fog.

Since IR is perceived as heat, IRlenses will help keep your eyes cool and relaxed (no squinting). This is beneficial for people who wear contacts or suffer from dryness of the eyes, even photophobia. IRlenses do the same thing as the BluBlockers of the 90's, but they also block the near infrared spectrum.

IRpair & Phantom - Privacy Eyewear. [Scott Urban/Kickstarter]