Hardware

Geek Gift Guide 2010: Gunnar i-AMP digital performance glasses

A geek's eyes get very little respite between their IT work and their online gameplay. Gunnar i-AMP Digital Performance eyewear is one way to minimize eyestrain when you're working at a computer.

Long hours at a computer can create eyestrain, which often leads to headaches and fatigue. Between working all day and playing video games all evening, most geeks are at the computer for as much as 12 - 14 hours a day. Gunnar i-AMP Digital Performance eyewear is designed to be worn while working at a computer to minimize eyestrain. After trying out the glasses, I can attest that the product works.

Specifications and features

  • Proprietary diAMIX lens material is tougher than polycarbonate and rivals ground glass optics.
  • i-Fi lens coatings use nano-filters to block out bad light and glare while capturing the good light from the monitor.
  • Fractyl lens geometry helps the eye focus on near distance computer screens, creating a "personal ocular microclimate that prevents dry eyes."
  • iONik lens tints that tune artificial light to the eye's anatomy, shifting light into the preferred color spectrum.
  • Available with or without prescription lenses.
  • Prices range from approximately $79 to $200 USD.
  • Available in a variety of frames, lenses, and styles.
  • Available through Gunnar's online store and many online retailers, including Amazon.com, Zappos.com, Frames Direct.com, and ThinkGeek.com.
  • TechRepublic photo gallery of Gunnar i-AMP digital performance glasses. (Note: The kiddo modeling the glasses in this photo is wearing adult size frames.)

What I like

  • Reduce eyestrain: The glasses really do reduce eyestrain.
  • Fit and fashion: The glasses fit well right out of the box, and they are reasonably fashionable.
  • Prescription: The fact that the product is available as prescription glasses is a bonus.
  • Care: The glasses are easy to care for with an optic cloth (lint free cloth).

What I don't like

  • Unpleasant to wear when you're doing anything other than looking at a computer monitor: Wearing the non-prescription glasses straight out of the box works well when all you are doing is looking at a computer monitor, but whenever I looked away from the monitor with the glasses on, everything looked funny, and it made me feel nauseated. This didn't go away with time.
  • Distortion: The same technology that makes the glasses great when looking at a bright screen seems to visually distort anything that isn't glaringly lit.
  • Fingerprints: The glasses get fingerprints on them very easily, though fingerprint smudges are simple to remove.
  • Extra set of eyewear: These don't seem to be glasses for wearing around all the time, but rather are meant to be stored and used at the computer workstation.

Geek bottom line

Gunnar i-AMP Digital Performance eyewear might seem a little pricey (glasses that you only wear at the computer?), but they do work. After wearing the glasses daily for more than a month, I noticed that I didn't need as many breaks from the computer and, at the end of the day, I didn't have a headache or feel as fatigued. The glasses would make a great gift for anybody who spends a lot of time at a computer.

Geek gift score (out of 5)

  • Fun factor: **
  • Geek factor: *****
  • Value: *****
  • Overall: *****

About

Nicole Bremer Nash is Director of Content and Social Media for HuTerra, where she uses SEO and social media to promote charitable organizations in their community-building and fundraising efforts. She enjoys volunteering, arts and crafts, and conduct...

Editor's Picks