GUNNAR Optiks, who for the last few years have been THE name in gaming based eyewear (being used for tournaments around the world), have released a new line of glasses called Intercept. While I’m far from a professional gamer, I spend an exorbitant amount of time staring at a computer screen, or screen of some sort, on a daily basis. The guys over at Gunnar were kind enough to let me check out their new line of glasses to see how an average computer user (maybe a little above) can benefit.
Let me just go ahead and get this out of the way right now...these new Gunnar glasses feature all the same tech and features as their previous versions, and the only thing that’s really changed here is they now come in some swanky colors. While this may not seem like a huge deal, if you’re really hardcore into detailing your gaming setups at home, this gives you better options to customize everything in your gaming arsenal. Here's how they work:
“GUNNAR makes glasses for anyone who demands the absolute most from their digital experience,” remarked GUNNAR Optiks’ CEO, Joe Croft. “But a high performance product designed for such a wide range of digital consumers can't be confined to a limited color palette. With the introduction of the INTERCEPT Color Collection, we've given everyone, from hardcore gamers to creative designers to technophiles of all types, a chance to show off their individuality and style - while protecting and enhancing their vision.”
The new Color Collection adds five vibrant hues to the INTERCEPT suite – Cobalt, Fire, Kryptonite, Ghost and Ink – which join the classic, original Onyx model. As always, these new, colorful styles deliver the same high-quality lens technology and frame construction while providing the competitive edge that GUNNAR users have come to expect. The INTERCEPT’s top-grade polymer frames are fine-tuned to maximize stability and durability, while even weight distribution and a premium soft-touch, non-slip external coating ensure they’re equally as comfortable as they are durable. In addition, their unique, proprietary lens design filters out harsh artificial light and reflective glare for a focused, panoramic view that brings vivid detail to high-resolution digital displays and protects the wearer’s vision from drying out.
Being that these are only colorized options, that shouldn’t dissuade you from looking into these glasses or picking them up. The fact remains that Gunnar glasses are still really damn awesome and worthwhile for just about anyone who stares at a computer or LCD (tablet, phone, etc) screen for a large portion of the day.
To be entirely honest, I wasn’t sure how well these things would work. I mean, I’ve seen them before and heard from others who’ve used them; but I wasn’t sold on their ability to work. So I’m happy to say that literally within my first hour of use, I understood what the big deal was. They work. The difference is pretty impressive and the reduction in eye strain is noticeable very quickly, providing a depth of relief that I hadn’t realized I needed. Not too mention that they're pretty comfortable to wear, and rest easily on your ears without feeling obtrusive.
While the bulk of my time at the computer is spent writing and reading things online (you know, being an editor and all) I did manage to get some game time in with StarCraft II with the glasses on, and I have to say, they felt great. The reduction in eye strain made it easier for me to focus on the events taking place in the game.
This worked out great for me, being a big RTS player and I could more quickly locate the assets I wanted to use. I’m not saying it made me any better or helped me win (God knows my online skills are far inferior to those I normally play against), but it felt easier for me to play and concentrate on the game than normal...if that makes sense.
The only real ‘problem’ I had with the glasses is one I’m not sure many others are going to have. As many of you know, I do a lot of digital artwork on the site, ranging everywhere from our Comic Strip, to promotional posters, and even a few other clients as well. As such, a lot of my time at home is spent drawing on the computer. Colors are very important to get right when it comes to digitally painting something (or any type of art really) as they can pull everything together and make the overall piece work.
The issue, then, comes from the yellow tint on the Gunnar specs. This special coating/tinting is one of the reasons the glasses work so well in reducing eye strain and helping you focus. However, it does put a yellowish haze over what you see. If you’re playing games or just reading online, it’s not something you’ll notice overly much, and will quickly adapt too. Sadly, when it came to drawing, it was enough of a difference to alter the way I viewed the colors in my digital pallet. This meant in order to make sure I was using the right colors in my pictures, I had to take the glasses off.
In the grand scheme of things, this probably isn’t a huge deal and like I said, for a lot of people, this won’t be an issue that remotely comes up. For me personally, however, it was about the only thing I could find I didn’t like about them.
That being said, I really love these Gunnar glasses and wear them as often as possible. They work, and if your lingering doubts on that issue are what’s preventing you from picking them up, don’t worry. The new Intercept line may be little more than a fancy paint job, but they’ve put cool colors on a great product...which there’s absolutely nothing wrong with.
The bottomline here is that if you don’t already own a pair, the Intercept line with its swanky colors is a great reason to pick them up. If you do happen to have an original pair of Gunnar’s, the designer nature of the new colors could be enough of a reason to justify a second (or third pair). After all, what’s better than beating your virtual opponent, than doing so in style!
For more information on Gunnar and to purchase their products, be sure to check out their official site!