What a time to be alive. Our cars can drive themselves, autonomous drones deliver our packages, our televisions are in 3D, our smartphones can track everywhere we've pooped (yes, there's an app for that), and now, finally, our sunglasses can tell us how to relax.
Enter, stage left, the new Smith Lowdown Focus mPowered by Muse, "the first brain-sensing eyewear that gives the user real-time feedback on cognitive training for better focus and concentration." The sunglasses truly beg the question, Why go outside for a breath of fresh air to relax, when I can just have my sunglasses and smartphone simulate it for me?
The sunglasses, which retail for $349 and whose official name is so ridiculously long we'll just call them the Lowdown Focus, rely on brain sensing EEG, EOG, and EMG monitors built inside the sunglasses that then relay your brain activity via Bluetooth to the Smith Focus app on your smartphone. From there, the app leads you through a series of "cognitive training exercises," meant to help your concentration, relaxation, mindfulness, and a variety of other mental health buzzwords.
With personalized motivational challenges and rewards designed to encourage you to build more regular and effective practice, you can almost hear Pavlov rolling in his grave.
While we haven’t put these Zen-glasses to the test yet, the words ‘app’ and ‘smartphone’ and ‘sunglasses’ trigger such a vicious and sudden eye roll that we might need a doctor to come surgically repair our entire visual cortex.
Perhaps these glasses would help?
From what we understand, when paired with the app, the sunglasses audibly illustrate your brainwave activity as the sound of crashing waves, which get calmer and calmer the more "focused" you become, followed by the chatter of bird sounds when your brain has reached its Zen climax. The app allows users to meditate nearly anywhere, anytime, even when that guy on the bus is sitting way too close.
Now, this isn't to say that all technological advancements are bad. Every year, new tech helps keep us safe on our skis, whether it's the newest beacon having our backs in the backcountry, or tech like MIPS in helmets keeping our noggins safe from collisions with out-of-control tourists at the resort. (Fingers crossed the next breakthrough is a goggle that will teach you how to flirt with that cute Australian in the lift line.)
Technology helps the progression of our sport, but it seems as though, with helmets that instantly stream 4K video to your Instagram, and apps that track every tiny detail of our day on the slopes, technology might have had a few before getting behind the wheel.
If these sunglasses help bring you inner peace, great. Yet, for the price, you could also spend a few days just plain skiing—which we've found to have the same effect.