Years ago, when I was at uni, I started to find it hard to focus my eyes, and had to place my hands on either side of my face like blinkers in order to be able to concentrate in lectures. I’m the only one in my family who doesn’t wear glasses, so I wondered if this was a sign that it was my time to get some.
The campus optometrist told me I had eye strain, and was extremely mildly short-sighted in one eye. Not really worth any serious hardware, and the strain could be relieved by taking more frequent breaks to focus on things in the distance. But, being a campus optometrist, he knew ‘rest’ wasn’t going to happen when your primary audience is a bunch of kids with a propensity for cram sessions, so a pair of weak prescription glasses later and I was on my way. I wasn’t terribly diligent with wearing them, but I pulled them out if I knew I’d have a decent stretch of study or lab work to do. Afterwards, they still made an occasional appearance at work.
One day, Gunnar Optiks popped up on my radar. I don’t even remember how I happened upon them, but there they were, fancy looking computer and gaming glasses in gorgeous styles that far outmatched the anti-glare glasses you could pick up at your local pharmacy.
You can read about the technology behind their lenses on their website. The fundamentals are pretty common, and it’s why you do see those yellow tinted glasses around the place. It’s all about filtering the blue light that emits from electronic devices which are hard on the eyes, and the lenses also have a coating to reduce glare. For those who need to work in true colour, they also have clear lenses which aren’t as effective at filtering blue light, but will still be better than not having them at all.
I’d had my glasses for quite a few years by this point, and felt it was time for an upgrade. I figured if I was going to have to wear glasses for work, I may as well get ones that look good.
A few emails later, and I was making enquiries with their sole APAC reseller (at the time) based out of New Zealand. Unfortunately, the service there was somewhat lacking, and their shipping worked out to be 50% more than if I ordered directly from the US. I redirected my query to their main website and received effectively, silence. I’d get the initial acknowledgement of the email, personal, not canned, and then nothing. I tried a couple followups of my own, but still received no response.
Somewhat disappointed, but not to be deterred, I reached out on Twitter and received a response back from the co-founder herself, Jennifer Michelsen, who took my enquiry in hand, and due to the poor communication experience I had, gifted me a pair of Gunnars!
I was beyond surprised at the generosity in response to what I assumed was just a customer service hiccup.
A little while later, I received my pair of Anime frames in steel blue (discontinued). They were as nice as I’d hoped, and they also did what they say on the box. It alleviated my eye strain, and also I found myself squinting less at the screen from the light. Something I hadn’t realised I was doing until I didn’t have to do it anymore.
I had to look it up, but I’ve had these for almost 9 years now. They look as good now as they did when I first got them. They’ve even travelled with me for work, and were also great for late night raids during my WoW days.
They performed so well, that a couple of my friends and coworkers ordered pairs for themselves.
Gunnar Optiks are pretty well established in the computer and gaming glasses field, and they have a lot of resellers around the world as well. So if you’ve been considering getting a pair, consider this a nudge.