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Ambient glasses put smartphone notifications right in front of your eyes

Mat Smith, @thatmatsmith
June 19, 2014
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Still not sold on smartwatches, but want to know what's going on with your phone without taking it out of your pocket? Maybe Matilde's Fun-iki glasses, spotted at CNET Japan's Live 2014 event, will do the trick. Connecting to smartphones through WiFi, a trio of LEDs above each lens will glow (or pulse) when there's a notification, or simply to add a little, er, color to your complexion. The lights cycle through various shades of red, green and blue, and you're able to assign specific colors to specific notifications: these frames aren't limited to just phone calls and email pings and adding further third-party apps' notifications is apparently easy.

There's speakers within the arms, while it charges through the micro-USB port on the left side -- we're told it'll typically blink and glow for around two days. It's a pretty simple pair of glasses: notifications are pretty much it -- there's no interactive component or camera within the hardware itself, but you can setup the notifications, color cycles and pulse rates through a companion app. There's also three different light-up modes: 'disco' and 'party' make the LEDs go a little crazy (just think of the Tinder applications), while 'relax' mode takes gentler hues and fades them in and out. Oh and there's a morse code mode, where you can flash out a specified message. Because anachronisms.

Gallery: Fun-iki notification glasses hands-on | 6 Photos

The company says that it expects them to go on sale later this year, for a pricey 15,000 yen (around $147). Interestingly, the initial product could open up different styles: there's not much stopping Matilde adding prescription lenses, or even adding some water protection. (It's working with Paris Miki, an established Japanese glasses-maker, on the project). The company said that work is already underway on sports activity apps for the hardware. Given the squash goggle styling of the hardware, we reckon there's some potential there.

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