E3 2010: Gunnar Optiks (Hands on)

by: John -
GUNNAR Optiks had a little motor home outside of the convention center showing off their brand new 3D glasses. Before I get into them, let’s talk a little bit about the company.

GUNNAR’s founded by former members of Oakley, which as you well know, is a very big player in the optical community. They make eyewear to help those that stare at monitors for a long time relieve eye strain and reduce dryness. Gamers tend to focus on the action so much that they blink a lot less. The glasses that GUNNAR makes help trap moisture and reduce air currents due to their design. I actually compared the lense shapes to my old Gargoyles whereby the lenses are curved instead of flat.

They have a great range of styles from their website and being heavily endorsed by the Major League Gaming association. Plenty of professional gamers are wearing GUNNAR Optiks and our own Ben Berry has been really impressed with them.

I was there to see the 3D gaming glasses but have never looked through a pair of GUNNAR Optiks before. Putting on a pair, I was surprised at how clear it made viewing my 4.3” screen on my phone. There’s a yellow-ish tint that I do like and they were so light that I barely felt them on my face. Seeing as I program a ton and also game plenty of hours afterwards, I might look into picking up a pair to see if it would help me from suffering tired and dry eyes at the end of the day.

Now back to why I was at their trailer. 3D’s becoming bigger and bigger and while most solutions today are using active shutter glasses, GUNNAR is producing some passive 3D glasses like the ones you see in movie theaters that use those paper or light plastic ones. Unlike those though, these are high quality and offer up a better quality picture when looking through them.

Whereas those you get in the movie theater are flat, flimsy glasses, the ones from GUNNAR are using their i-AMP technology to produce shaped lense that provides distortion free viewing. They are also not too bad looking as well and they felt very lightweight when worn. The trailer had a TV in the back showing off Unreal Tournament 3 with that all too familiar double vision picture. When the glasses were put on, it was amazing how clear and pronounce the 3D image was on the TV. If there was any double image effect, I could not see it and it sure looked pretty nice. Being a veteran of NVIDIA’s GeForce 3D Vision setup, I was surprised at how well the passive setup performed using the GUNNAR glasses.

Now, these glasses aren’t cheap though as you can probably deduce. They start at $90 a pair but they are pretty high quality items. For those who wear prescription glasses, GUNNAR will be offering these glasses that way as well in the near future. I’m be interested to do a comparison between using the cheap theater brands to the GUNNAR Optik ones with so many 3D movies coming out in the next few months.


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