IRpair & Phantom – Privacy Eyewear
Scott Urban is on a mission to turn eyewear from just a fashion statement to something much more useful. No, his sunglasses don’t come with projectors and cameras inside them… rather, they overcome them. IRpair and Phantom are his two new creations that maintain your identity on facial recognition systems.
IRpair has specially formulated lenses that have the ability to absorb infrared light, which makes them especially useful against practically any sort of camera with an IR sensor in them.
Phantom also come with the IR-blocking lenses, but the frame itself also reflects infrared light to pretty much render any facial recognition technology useless. Most facial recognition frameworks rely on an IR blaster to capture your face and the shape of your eyes.
These sunglasses make its wearer undetectable to night-vision CCTV cameras, and even your smartphone’s face-unlock feature. In the grander scheme of things, IRpair and Phantom allow you take your privacy back from corporate and state databases that keep tabs on you.
Scott’s obsession with privacy-protecting eyewear started in 2016 with Reflectacles Ghost sunglasses, a pair of spectacles made with reflective material that shines brightly in night-vision cameras and flash photography (your face just looks like a blur of white light), making it practically ideal for people who don’t like having their photos clicked.
While Reflectacles Ghost were, and pardon my choice of words, more in-your-face, Scott’s true end-game was to make a discreet pair of privacy glasses that looked just like any other frames.
IRpair and Phantom, in that regard, look just like any other pair of sunglasses. Designed with an acetate body, these frames work perfectly both indoors and outdoors, with a choice between light-tinted lenses that give you visibility indoors and a darker-tinted lenses meant for outdoor wearing.
The lenses come with specially formulated optical fibers that completely absorb infrared light in the 850-950 nanometer wavelength. Not only do these lenses block the infrared spectrum, they also block ultraviolet light (UVa, UVb, UVc), as well as visible blue light, making them ideal for wearing in the sun, or even in front of a screen. The blue-light blocking feature also helps prevent fatigue from sitting in front of a screen for too long, and even make your environments appear brighter and crisper by enhancing your perception of depth and reducing the effects of smoke, fog, and haze.
More than just a pair of privacy glasses, IRpair and Phantom are designed to be the spectacles you wear every day. For prescription-glasses-wearers, there is an optional clip-on with the IR-blocking lenses that you can wear when you step outdoors, or when you’re working in front of a computer screen. These special lenses even help by absorbing heat, making your eyes feel cooler in the sun, and giving you a comfortable wearing experience over time.
However, the facial-recognition-blocking ability is IRpair and Phantom’s unique proposition. The glasses help by allowing you to opt out of systems (both regulated and unregulated) that use your face to track your identity without permission.
Designed as a discreet solution to a growing problem, IRpair and Phantom give you the upper hand in the battle against ever-advancing facial recognition technology at the price of your privacy…. and yes, you need to take off these glasses every time you want to unlock your phone, but given what’s at stake, is it even sensible to universally use your face as your identity in the first place?
Designer: Scott Urban of Reflectacles