More than meets the eye, glasses that make you live better.

Human beings are irrational. We often make choices that we later regret. Consider binge drinking. Some of these choices cause no harm. Others, in the long term, can lead to damage. So who wouldn’t want a pair of glasses that can possibly mitigate making bad choices? JIN, the operator of the Japanese chain of Jins eyewear stores, aims to do just that with its first piece of wearable tech.

The world has been awash with stylish fitness trackers ever since products like the Nike fuelband and Fitbit opened up the market. The glasses, the Jins Meme, largely fall into the same category. They have an accelerometer and gyroscope sensors located on the tip of the temple to track body movements.

The world has been awash with stylish fitness trackers ever since products like the Nike fuelband and Fitbit opened up the market. The glasses, the Jins Meme, largely fall into the same category. They have an accelerometer and gyroscope sensors located on the tip of the temple to track body movements.

Most fitness trackers are worn on the wrist — not the best place to track overall body movement. The wrist actually limits how detailed data collection can be. Because the Jins Meme is first and foremost a pair of glasses and worn on the head, it can gather a more precise reading of overall body movement, JIN says.

Unique technology also sets the Jins Meme apart from other fitness trackers. The glasses have three-point electrooculography sensors on the nose pad. Human eyeballs have electrical potential, and by measuring the blinks and eye movements, the glasses’ sensors can determine the wearer’s level of concentration, fatigue or composure.

As the old Japanese adage goes, the eye is the window of the mind.

The data collected by the two sensors are sent to the user’s smartphone via Bluetooth. By using an app, the wearer is told his or her mind age, body age and posture — information users can act on to improve the way they live.

Disease prevention

JIN accounts for a third of Japan’s eyewear market, which is worth roughly 400 billion yen. “In order to grow further, we needed to come up with ways of using glasses other than correcting eyesight,” said Kazutaka Inoue, leader of the Jins Meme division. “But we only realized the full potential of the product well into its production.”

One potential Inoue hopes the Jins Meme can unlock is pre-emptive medical care.

This is the opposite of treating symptoms; it aims to prevent the human body from catching diseases or developing unwanted symptoms.

One condition Jins Meme glasses could potentially prevent is dementia. “We know as a rule of thumb that even at an old age, if we keep our brain on its toes we can reduce the chances of developing dementia,” Inoue said. “By using Jins Meme glasses to measure how much we use our brain, in a similar way to measuring our weight, we might be able to nudge people into using their brain more.”

Also, by using Jins Meme glasses to track body and eye movements of people who have already developed the likes of dementia or Parkinson’s disease, the company hopes institutions around the world will develop further understanding of the conditions. Keio University, the University of Torino and other institutions already use JIN’s wearable tech for academic research into other symptoms and diseases. The optical company also has a software development kit ready so third-party developers can come up with their own apps.

JIN operates eyewear stores in China and is soon to open its first Taiwan store, but there is no planned release of the wearable tech in Asia outside of Japan.

Inoue, though, doesn’t rule out the possibility. “Japan is way ahead of other countries in terms of aging,” he said. “I think it is our duty to come up with ways of tackling various problems that arise from the phenomenon, whether it be a particular device or a set of systems, and to share it with other countries.”

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