Kolari, the company behind acclaimed photography filters and camera conversion services, has taken its filter technology into eyewear, launching a pair of stylish new sunglasses. Kolari Shades promise to be the “world’s sharpest sunglasses.”
Sporting Corning Gorilla Glass in titanium frames, the Kolari Shades promise to protect the user’s eyes from damaging light, like infrared and ultraviolet wavelengths. The Shades block up to 100% of UV light and 99% of IR light, which research has shown contribute to the formation of cataracts. Blocking infrared light also protects the wearer’s eyes from infrared-based facial recognition systems, which Kolari notes in its documentation.
Kolari is also well-versed in optical coatings, so the Shades also include those — the same coatings as the company uses on its photo filters. The glass lenses include an anti-reflective and anti-smudge coating to protect the lenses from environmental damage and scratches. Likewise, just as Kolari’s photographic filters are designed to be color-neutral, so too are its new sunglasses.
Despite the name “sunglasses,” nearly all sunglasses use plastic or resin lenses. This is for a very good reason — safety. Federal regulations require that sunglass lenses have a certain resistance to breaking on impact, which makes sense given that the lenses are right next to a person’s eyes. However, as Kolari shows, Corning’s glass technology has improved to the point where it is fully compliant. Compared to plastic or resin lenses, glass is significantly sharper and promises a clearer, more detailed view of the world.
Currently, Kolari Shades are available in two frame colors: silver and gold. Only one style is available, but customers can select from three lenses. The Basic lens blocks UV light and 90% of IR wavelengths. The Ultra model increases IR blocking to 99%, and an Ultra Gradient is, as the name suggests, the Ultra lens with a gradient effect that lessens from top to bottom.
Kolari Shades are launching on Kickstarter and on Kolari’s website through an early reservation process. Early customers can significantly save. The MSRP of the Basic lens model is $219, while early buyers can grab the new sunglasses for $119. The Ultra and Ultra Gradient versions are both $339 at retail but will be available for as low as $179 to early birds.
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Image credits: Michael Zhang unless otherwise noted.