Tim Cook touts the future of AR, says the technology isn’t there yet for AR glasses

During his current trip in Europe, Apple’s Tim Cook sat down with The Independent for a wide-ranging interview. The primary focus of the talk was on ARKit and how Apple has implemented it in iOS and where else it augmented reality could be useful…

Spigen TEKA RA200 Airpods Earhooks Cover

Cook explained that one of the biggest benefits of the iOS ecosystem is how Apple can do the “heavy lifting” by building a framework like ARKit, and then letting developers implement it throughout their apps.

“The way that you get lots of great ideas is for us to do the heavy lifting of the complexity of locational things and software, and put those in the operating system,” says Cook. “And then you have all the developers that are able to put their energy into their passion.”

The ecosystem further helps Apple when in competing with other smartphone manufacturers, Greg Joswiack says:

“Our competitors are trying to mimic what we’ve done,” says Greg Joswiack, Apple’s vice president for iOS, iPad and iPhone marketing. “But they just don’t have that scale we bring to it.”

Cook also noted that Apple has an advantage in that it controls both the hardware and the software o the iPhone, a level of control that competitors don’t have:

That gives Apple an especially strong position because its competitors “don’t control the hardware and software”, Cook says. “It goes to what Apple is about – the integration of those two things, with the App Store on the server side. I think it’s going to be hard for other folks.”

The conversation then shifted primarily to augmented reality in general. Cook likened AR’s affect to that of the App Store, saying that it will be just as “dramatic” as the App Store was for mobile technology. The Apple CEO also noted of how ARKit become “the largest AR platform” instantly because of the existing iPhone user base.

“If it were on a different device then you would never have a commercial opportunity, and without the commercial opportunity you’d never have 15 million people that say, ‘I want to design my passion with AR’.”

By putting it on iPhone, Apple was able to “instantly overnight become the largest AR platform”, Cook says.

Cook also vaguely addressed the rumors that Apple is building a pair of augmented reality glasses, saying that the technology to create such a product isn’t there yet, while noting that Apple doesn’t care about being first.

“But today I can tell you the technology itself doesn’t exist to do that in a quality way. The display technology required, as well as putting enough stuff around your face – there’s huge challenges with that.

“The field of view, the quality of the display itself, it’s not there yet,” he says. And as with all of its products, Apple will only ship something if it feels it can do it “in a quality way”.

“We don’t give a rat’s about being first, we want to be the best, and give people a great experience,” he says. “But now anything you would se on the market any time soon would not be something any of us would be satisfied with. Nor do I think the vast majority of people would be satisfied.”

New details about the cancelled Pilotwings game for Wii, including head tracking glasses peripheral

New details about the cancelled Pilotwings game for Wii, including head tracking glasses peripheral

Posted on September 23, 2017 by Brian(@NE_Brian)
in News, Wii

Factor 5 almost delivered a new Pilotwings game on two separate occasions. The first instance was during the GameCube era, when the studio imagined a title that would have taken place in the real world during the height of the Cold War.

The second time a partnership with Nintendo almost emerged was following Factor 5’s relationship with Sony and after the release of Wii. In contrast to what had been planned for the GameCube, the Wii project had a lighter tone. Factor 5 was interested in creating an open world loosely based on Earth with various aircraft and missions.

One of the most interesting details to have been uncovered is a potential new Wii peripheral. Factor 5 wanted to work with Nintendo on a licensed glasses accessory that would be able to track head movement. By tilting your head, you’d be able to control the in-game camera.

Nintendo ultimately turned down Factor 5’s potential Pilotwings game for Wii. However, the team continued to work on the project, and wanted to rework it into an original IP. The game was first known as Sky internally, then Wii Flight, and later WiiFly. The final name change was WeFly with Nintendo saying that WiiFly would have infringed upon the trademark for the “Wii” series.

Despite Nintendo not signing off on the game as a new Pilotwings, they were still involved somewhat as they allowed Factor 5 to incorporate Miis, worked with them on using data from the Wii Forecast Channel, and were apparently still on board to produce the head tracking glasses. But in the end, the entire game was scrapped after Factor 5 was forced to close.

You can find more details about the cancelled Pilotwings game for Wii from Unseen64 below.

Vuzix Enters Into Strategic Partnership with MPC Energy to Deliver M300 Smart Glasses and

Vuzix’ AR smart glasses will enable the delivery of real-time insights from MPC Energy to operators on the consumption of their energy for systems, machines and devices.  The delivery of real-time insights to the machines via Vuzix smart glasses and Aura, MPC’s smart manufacturing energy management system, will ultimately allow operators to adjust machines and processes in a way that optimizes production and resource consumption in concert with the organization’s goals. 

MPC Energy has been optimizing energy consumption for aluminum, gasoline, food, chemical, glass, electronics and textile manufacturers.  From potato chips to microchips, refineries to foundries; MPC Energy has been shrinking the energy footprints of its global customers and reducing the amount of energy required to produce the products they consume. 

Vuzix will be attending the World Engineering Energy Conference (WEEC) with MPC Energy on September 27-29 in Atlanta, Georgia at Booth #222 to showcase the Vuzix M300 and Aura, MPC’s smart manufacturing energy management system.  

“The team at MPC Energy has established a legacy over the last 37 years in operational excellence and driving productivity and cost savings in over 100 manufacturing plants for its industrial customers,” said Matt Ratteree, President of MPC Energy.  “We’re excited to partner with Vuzix to bring the value proposition of predictive maintenance to our end customers through the use of Vuzix AR Smart Glasses and MPC Aura.” 

“MPC Energy’s next generation management tools paired up with Vuzix M300 smart glasses will drive new business opportunities for Vuzix with some world class customers in the industrial space,” said Paul Travers, President and CEO of Vuzix.

About Modular Process Control LLC “MPC Energy”

Modular Process Control LLC “MPC Energy” http://www.mpcenergyllc.com/ provides energy management solutions. The Company offers cloud-based energy management information system, and energy monitoring services. Modular Process Control operates in the United States.

About Vuzix Corporation

Vuzix is a leading supplier of Smart-Glasses and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies and products for the consumer and enterprise markets. The Company’s products include personal display and wearable computing devices that offer users a portable high quality viewing experience, provide solutions for mobility, wearable displays and virtual and augmented reality. Vuzix holds 58 patents and 37 additional patents pending and numerous IP licenses in the Video Eyewear field. The Company has won Consumer Electronics Show (or CES) awards for innovation for the years 2005 to 2017 and several wireless technology innovation awards among others. Founded in 1997, Vuzix is a public company (NASDAQ: VUZI) with offices in Rochester, NY, Oxford, UK and Tokyo, Japan.

Forward-Looking Statements Disclaimer

Certain statements contained in this news release are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities laws. Forward looking statements contained in this release relate to success of our relationship with MPC and among other things the Company’s leadership in the Video Eyewear, VR and AR display industry. They are generally identified by words such as “believes,” “may,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “should” and similar expressions. Readers should not place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which are based upon the Company’s beliefs and assumptions as of the date of this release. The Company’s actual results could differ materially due to risk factors and other items described in more detail in the “Risk Factors” section of the Company’s Annual Reports and MD&A filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and applicable Canadian securities regulators (copies of which may be obtained at www.sedar.com or www.sec.gov). Subsequent events and developments may cause these forward-looking statements to change. The Company specifically disclaims any obligation or intention to update or revise these forward-looking statements as a result of changed events or circumstances that occur after the date of this release, except as required by applicable law.

Media and Investor Relations Contact:

Matt Margolis, Director of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations, Vuzix Corporation matt_margolis@vuzix.com Tel: (585) 359-5952

Andrew Haag, Managing Partner, IRTH Communications
vuzi@irthcommunications.com Tel: (866) 976-4784

Vuzix Corporation, 25 Hendrix Road, Suite A, West Henrietta, NY 14586 USA,
Investor Information – IR@vuzix.com www.vuzix.com

For further sales, and product information, please visit:

North America:
http://www.vuzix.com/contact/

Europe/UK:
https://www.vuzix.eu/contact/

Asia:
http://www.vuzix.jp/contact.html

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SOURCE Vuzix Corporation

Related Links

http://www.vuzix.com

Vuzix Delivers M300 Smart Glasses to Singapore’s SATS to Use AR to Improve Efficiency of Ramp Handling Operations

ROCHESTER, N.Y., Sept. 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Vuzix® Corporation (NASDAQ: VUZI), (“Vuzix” or, the “Company”), a leading supplier of Smart Glasses, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies and products for the consumer and enterprise markets, is pleased to announce that the Company has delivered M300 Smart Glasses to SATS, a Singapore based leading provider of gateway services and food solutions that provides services at 47 airports and 14 countries across Asia and the Middle East.  SATS, the chief ground-handling and in-flight catering service provider at the Singapore Changi Airport has started using Vuzix M300 Smart Glasses to digitize its ramp handling operations and has begun introducing the technology to 600 of their staff, which should be deployed across their network by mid-2018.

Vuzix logo

Using Vuzix smart glasses, SATS ramp handling staff will be able to scan visual markers such as QR codes on baggage and cargo containers to improve the baggage handling process.  SATS ramp handling staff will receive real-time loading instructions, as well as allow the ramp control center a real-time view of on-ground processes.  SATS expects the increase the accuracy and improvement in efficiency of baggage and cargo handling processes for larger wide-body aircraft on average can shorten loading times by 15 minutes per flight.

A video link highlighting the SATS augmented reality ramp operations project can be found here.

About Vuzix Corporation

Vuzix is a leading supplier of Smart-Glasses, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies and products for the consumer and enterprise markets. The Company’s products include personal display and wearable computing devices that offer users a portable high quality viewing experience, provide solutions for mobility, wearable displays and virtual and augmented reality. Vuzix holds 58 patents and 37 additional patents pending and numerous IP licenses in the Video Eyewear field. The Company has won Consumer Electronics Show (or CES) awards for innovation for the years 2005 to 2017 and several wireless technology innovation awards among others. Founded in 1997, Vuzix is a public company (NASDAQ: VUZI) with offices in Rochester, NY, Oxford, UK and Tokyo, Japan.

Forward-Looking Statements Disclaimer

Certain statements contained in this news release are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities laws. Forward looking statements contained in this release relate to, among other things, the success of and future business for the M300 with SATS, the Company’s leadership in the Video Eyewear, VR and AR display industry. They are generally identified by words such as “believes,” “may,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “should” and similar expressions. Readers should not place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which are based upon the Company’s beliefs and assumptions as of the date of this release. The Company’s actual results could differ materially due to risk factors and other items described in more detail in the “Risk Factors” section of the Company’s Annual Reports and MD&A filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and applicable Canadian securities regulators (copies of which may be obtained at www.sedar.com or www.sec.gov). Subsequent events and developments may cause these forward-looking statements to change. The Company specifically disclaims any obligation or intention to update or revise these forward-looking statements as a result of changed events or circumstances that occur after the date of this release, except as required by applicable law.

Media and Investor Relations Contact:

Matt Margolis, Director of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations, Vuzix Corporation [email protected] Tel: (585) 359-5952

Andrew Haag, Managing Partner, IRTH Communications
[email protected] Tel: (866) 976-4784

Vuzix Corporation, 25 Hendrix Road, Suite A, West Henrietta, NY 14586 USA,
Investor Information [email protected] www.vuzix.com

For further sales, and product information, please visit:

North America:
http://www.vuzix.com/contact/

Europe/UK:
https://www.vuzix.eu/contact/

Asia:
http://www.vuzix.jp/contact.html

View original content with multimedia:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/vuzix-delivers-m300-smart-glasses-to-singapores-sats-to-use-ar-to-improve-efficiency-of-ramp-handling-operations-300514825.html

SOURCE Vuzix Corporation

Copyright 2014 PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved

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Solar eclipse fever in South Florida is sky high in scramble for viewing glasses

Sky-high enthusiasm in South Florida for viewing Monday’s solar eclipse bubbled over in a west Hollywood neighborhood when several hundred people showed up in response to an offer of free safety glasses to view the celestial phenomenon, totally eclipsing the supply.

“When we opened the doors at 10 a.m., we had 400 people lined up outside the door,” assistant community library manager Valerie McCurdy said Sunday afternoon in a Stirling Road branch of the Broward County library that was still teeming with people revved up about the approaching celestial spectacular.

“We passed out 1,400 pair of glasses. They were gone in an hour.”

Library officials knew demand would be high after they fielded about 3,000 phone calls in recent days from those asking about the paper glasses, approved by and supplied by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, McCurdy said.

An off-duty Hollywood police officer was hired to provide security.

“The disappointment was evident,” McCurdy said “People were upset, but there was no violence, no anger, no yelling. We always told people the supply was limited.”

After the glasses were gone, the library proceeded with a full day of activities geared around a total solar eclipse the likes of which has not been seen in the U.S. since 1918.

South Florida will see the sun obscured by between 78 and 82 percent when the moon, the sun and earth align.

The weather forecast is promising, with just a 20 percent chance of rain, meteorologists said.

Among those who arrived early enough at the library, at 3151 Stirling Road, to snag four pair of glasses for his family was Luis Perez, 54. “This is something that hasn’t happened for a long time, so of course we want to see it,” said Perez, a dealer at a local casino.

Ashley Kelley and her two children, Tristan, 7, and Skyla, 9, want to see it too, but they were too late to get the NASA glasses. So they might have to view the phenomenon through a pin-holed paper plate or a shadow box like the ones that were under construction in the library’s children’s section.

“Quite honesty, everything is so hyped up about this, and so much buzz created,” said Kelley. “I think a lot of people are just looking for something to post on social media.”

For those with a genuine interest in science, the library put on a all-day program for children and adults that included a talk by NASA solar ambassador Ibianny Salcedo.

In a room jammed with a statnding-room-only crowd of about 175 people, Salcedo narrated a slide show called “America in the Dark” and explained what would happen when the eclipse begins in South Florida about 1:25 p.m. and peaks a few minutes before 3 p.m.

“We’ll see a pretty amazing show,” said Salcedo, who peppered her talk with rarely heard words such as penumbra, perigee and apogee.

McCurdy said the Stirling Road branch library is just one of three in Florida which received a $500 NASA@ My Library grant to offer a series of free science programs as part of an initiative to engage public audiences in learning about space exploration.

“This has generated so much more interest than we expected,” said McCurdy.

If you happen to miss the total solar eclipse, Salcedo urged patience. “There will be another one in 28 years,” she said

SOLD OUT – NASA approved eclipse viewing glasses flying off shelves

(WXYZ) – Finding a pair of NASA approved solar eclipse viewing glasses is becoming as rare as the seeing the eclipse itself.  Stores across the country are selling out and in Michigan there  aren’t many left.

NASA has compiled a list of approved vendors and retailers to help you ensure the glasses you buy will protect your eyes from the eclipsing sun.

https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety

https://eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters

7 Action News called and visited many of the retailers on the list striking out time after time.  The Novi and Canton Kirklands are all sold out and the employees weren’t aware of any in the Detroit area that still had any to sell.

A Best Buy manager said every store in the state of Michigan is sold out and they aren’t available to order on the website either. Every Michigan retailer on the list gave the same answer. Sold Out.

7-11’s corporate office offered some hope by revealing that some of their locations will be getting one last shipment before Monday. They didn’t say which locations.

NASA sent eclipse glasses to libraries across the country, but most in our area have run out. A few libraries holding eclipse events Monday August 21st are waiting to distribute the glasses until Monday. It will be on a first come, first serve basis.

Some sellers on Amazon say they still have glasses for you to buy, but the prices have been hiked up and there’s no guarantee they will arrive on time.

So what do you do if you can’t find a pair of NASA approved glasses?

Ed Cackett, an Associate Professor of Astronomy at Wayne State University says there are other safe viewing options.

“What you want to do is look indirectly and project an image on the ground,” he says.

Cackett suggests making a pinhole camera with a paper plate and a pin, then standing with your back to the eclipse and watching the shadow projected onto a piece of paper. He promises it’s a cool sight to see.  There are instructions on NASA’s website https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety

Cackett says you can also use your hands to make a pin hole viewer or use a colander, again standing with your back to the eclipse and watching the shadow. Never ever look directly at the sun.

There are a number of events in the metro Detroit area in which telescopes with special filters will be available and a limited number of NASA approved eclipse viewing glasses will be distributed.  Here are a few to check out:

Michigan Science Center is partnering with Wayne State University to hold a viewing event on Monday 10am – 5. More info here: http://www.mi-sci.org/event/solar-eclipse-event/

Lawrence Tech University is holding an event In the quad hosted by physics professor Dr. Scott Schneider, who will be setting up a couple of solar telescopes. The public is invited 12:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. His eclipse page is http://vnatsci.ltu.edu/s_schneider/astro/eclipse2017.shtml

Vollbrecht Planetarium will be hosting an open house for the up coming solar eclipse. The event will provide:

  • Telescopes and Binoculars with protective filters for safe viewing.
  • Streaming NASA live coverage of the Total Eclipse on the dome.
  • Approved Solar Shades available.
  • Eclipse cookies & Solar lemonade while supplies last.

More info: http://www.vollbrechtplanetarium.com/

Want free solar eclipse glasses? Sign up for special events at your library; safe viewing tips

All of America will be looking up on Aug. 21 when a total solar eclipse covers the sun from sea to shining sea.

Proper eye protection is necessary to safely view the celestial event of the year. As we countdown to the big day, make reservations to attend various fun library events to snag a pair of free solar eclipse glasses your local branch. (Visit the SpaceScience.org interactive map to find special viewing celebrations.)

As of Tuesday, libraries had given away 2 million free glasses that were distributed to over 7,000 branches by STAR_Net. However, many libraries say they will distribute free glasses only during scheduled events while supplies last and are not distributing them to the public.

The track of the total annular solar eclipse will begin in Oregon and end near South Carolina, where only the sun’s corona — known as the ring of fire — will be visible, according to National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Solar 101 website.

Here in South Florida, the partial solar eclipse will begin at 1:26 p.m. and run until  4:20 p.m. Peak viewing is at 2:57 p.m., when 78 percent of the sun will be covered, according to TimeandDate.com. 

The next annular solar eclipse will happen in 2023, visible from Northern California to Florida, according to NASA. 

Meanwhile, libraries all across the land are planning events, which may require reservations. 

Broward County:

Aug. 17 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.: “Eclipse 2017 – Big Sun, Small Moon?” at Margate Catharine Young Library; 954-357-7500.

Aug. 19 from 1 to 2 p.m.: “Pre-Solar Eclipse Celebration: Make an edible model of the sun” at African-American Research Library & Cultural Center; 954-357-6282.

Aug. 20 from noon to 4 p.m.: “Pre-Solar Eclipse Party” at Stirling Road Library; 954-357-7550.

Aug. 21 from 12:30 to 7:30 p.m.:  Solar Eclipse Special Event at African-American Research Library & Cultural Center; 954-357-6282.

Aug. 21 from 1 to 5 p.m.: “Let’s View the Solar Eclipse” at the Main Library; 954-357-7444.

Aug. 21 from 1 to 5 p.m.: Watch NASA stream the total eclipse from across the U.S., plus local observatory telescopes streams. View live partial eclipse of the sun outdoors with free eclipse glasses, arts and craft projects and more at Southwest Regional Library; 954-357-6580.

Aug. 21 from 2 to 3 p.m.: “Experience the fascinating real-life science behind an eclipse” at North Lauderdale Saraniero Library; 954-357-6660.

Palm Beach County:

Aug. 19 at 2 p.m. at the Jupiter Branch: George Haddad, a NASA aerospace engineer, will discuss the history of solar eclipses, and safety precautions in observing one. All ages. Make reservations.       Aug. 21 at 2 p.m. at Belle Glade Branch: Library Meet-up. Enjoy snacks, read up on the eclipse and get a sneak peek with safety glasses. All ages.   Aug. 21 at 2 p.m. at the Acreage Branch: Eclipse party with hot solar crafts and cool experiments. Safely watch the skies with special glasses. Peak viewing is just before 3 p.m. All ages. 

Miami-Dade County: 

Aug. 18 from 3 to 3:45 p.m.: “Countdown to the Solar Eclipse” at at Pinecrest Branch. All ages. Must register; 305-668-4571.

Aug 19 from 2 to 3:30 p.m.: Guest speaker NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Solar System Ambassador Ibianny V. Salcedo at Shenandoah Branch. For ages 6 to 18. Must register; 305-250-4688.

Aug. 21 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.: Safely observe the partial eclipse with a sun-viewer and telescope and learn to make your own at the North Dade Regional Branch. Viewings will take place weather permitting. 305-625-6424.

Aug. 21 from 2 to 3:30 p.m.: Special eclipse-related activities and a viewing for all ages at Naranja Branch. Must register; 305-242-2290.

Aug. 21 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.: All ages can learn about space and the planets while watching the solar eclipse at Coral Reef Branch; 305-233-8324.

Aug. 21 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.: Eclipse-related activities and viewing for all ages at Coral Gables Branch. Must register; 305-442-8706.

Richland Co. gives out eclipse glasses not approved by NASA

Richland County has purchased and is distributing 10,000 solar eclipse glasses that weren’t manufactured by a company approved by NASA or the American Astronomical Society.

Both organizations have said the manufacturers on their list are the only way they can ensure that the glasses have been properly manufactured and tested to standard.

Richland County Council member Jim Manning said he returned his allotment of 500 of the glasses to the county attorney and received a notarized letter absolving him from any problems that might arise from the glasses’ distribution.

“I don’t want it to come back that anybody got one from me and had problems,” he said.

County spokeswoman Beverly Harris said 10,000 of the glasses were purchased for $5,700 from the New York-based Everything Branded company. Some of the glasses also have been sent to the sheriff’s department through the county clerk’s office, but she didn’t know how many had been handed out.

She said the glasses had been been certified by the International Organization for Standardization, or ISO, and she produced a 16-page testing certificate prepared by a Chinese testing firm.

A photo of the glasses provided by Manning show an ISO logo on the glasses, but without the symbol for a registered trademark.

To address concerns regarding fake or counterfeit eclipse safety glasses, the society is advising people to no longer simply look for language indicating that glasses meet certain safety standards, such as ISO standards. There are glasses on the market that have language printed on them indicating that they meet these standards, but many of these glasses have not been tested appropriately, it said.

Instead, they warn people to make sure the glasses are from reputable manufacturers instead.

The concerns by Manning come on the heels of a recall of glasses by the Blythewood Chamber of Commerce. The 5,000 pairs of glasses purchased by the chamber through one of its members were not manufactured by one of the NASA-certified companies.

“Unfortunately the company we contracted with sent glasses with an ISO number that is one number down” from that recommended by NASA, said Mike Switzer, the chamber’s executive director.

About 3,400 of the 5,000 pairs distributed through the Blythewood Chamber went to outlets primarily around Blythewood and Northeast Richland, which have been giving them out for two weeks.

“But we don’t know how many were actually distributed,” Switzer said.

The 100,000 glasses to be given away at city of Columbia sponsored events, plus 184,000 in bulk orders from big organizations including Columbia Fireflies and Solar 17 at Lake Murray, are all safe, according to organizers with Total Eclipse Weekend Columbia SC. These glasses came from Rainbow Symphony, one of NASA’s approved organizations, and some from American Paper Optics, which is also NASA approved.

To address concerns regarding fake or counterfeit eclipse safety glasses, the American Astronomical Society has issued new guidance advising people to no longer simply look for language indicating that glasses meet certain safety standards (ISO standards, etc.). There are glasses on the market that have language printed on them indicating that they meet these standards, but many of these glasses have not been tested appropriately.

The American Astronomical Society is now advising people to make sure their eclipse glasses are from reputable manufacturers instead of only looking for safety/certification language that includes the ISO with reference number 12312-2. Here are the manufacturers recognized by AAS – NASA – as safe:

More info is available at https://eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters.

These NASA Approved Glasses Are the Safest Way to Watch Next Week’s Solar Eclipse

 Futurism only supports companies that we like and trust. Lunt SUNoculars is one of those companies.  We may collect a share of the sales from the items featured on this page. Learn more about Lunt SUNoculars here. 

A Sight To See

On August 21, America will experience a total solar eclipse for the first time since 1979. While total solar eclipses occur every 18 months 0n Earth, it has been 38 years since the American mainland has fallen in the path of totality. Unlike “black moons” and “blood moons,” which have been inflated on social media as of late, this celestial event is actually a big deal — especially if you live somewhere between Oregon and South Carolina.

Indeed, the sight has been called “life-changing” and “mind-bending” by even the most seasoned astronomers. Fred Espenak, a retired NASA astrophysicist, recently described his first eclipse experience to Vox, noting that it is “truly spectacular” and that “once in a lifetime [is] not enough.” Astronomer Jay Pasachoff reminisced with Scientific News about his last eclipse viewing experience, discussing the strong emotional reaction viewers had: “People cheer, and people cry.”

And while the best visual experience will be had from the path of totality, the rest of North America and even parts of South America will see a partial solar eclipse, which is still worth stepping outside for. But whether you’re in for a full black-out or partial blockage, you’ll need a pair of protective eyewear. NASA strongly recommends certifiably safe eyewear for viewers of the solar eclipse, meeting the ISO 12312-2 standard.

A Tour of the Solar Neighborhood [INFOGRAPHIC]
Click to View Full Infographic

A Dangerous Illusion

Staring into the Sun with a naked eye can result in injury to the retina and even blindness. The danger to the eye comes from infrared radiation, ultraviolet radiation, and excessive blue light. And before you ask, yes, it’s more dangerous than looking at the Sun on any other ordinary day.

This danger is due to the fact that our normal built-in ocular safety doesn’t really work the same during an eclipse, thanks to the juxtaposition of the dark shadow of the Moon against the blazing Sun. The combination of extreme brightness against total darkness creates a sharpness that challenges the eye’s safety focus features, causing it to absorb the damaging image on the most sensitive neural tissue.

Of course, even if it didn’t direct this radiation to the most sensitive areas, the eclipse would still be dangerous. Depending on exposure time and other personal health factors, the damage could be temporary or it could last a lifetime. In either case, it’s not a risk worth taking, and proper glasses are a must.

SUNoculars

There are lots of solar eclipse branded glasses on the market right now, but NASA warns that many of them fall below the safety standard, so it’s important to make sure you’re purchasing a NASA approved brand.

NASA stands behind Lunt SUNoculars, which have been personally tested on the Sun with a 100% quality and safety guarantee. The lenses reduce the light of the Sun to an ND-5 transmission, blocking all ultraviolet and infrared components. Plus, they’re pocket-sized, include a case, strap, lens cap, cleaning cloth, a one year warranty, and only cost $129.

While there won’t be another total solar eclipse until 2024, you can use your SUNoculars to safely view planetary transits, sunspot activity, magnetic storms, and other astronomical events. To get your pair of SUNoculars, head to Amazon asap—August 21 is almost here.

Not All Eclipse-Viewing Glasses Should be Regarded as Safe

With the solar eclipse less than a month away, eclipse viewing glasses are in high demand among people hoping to get a glimpse of the rare event.

But NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, warns that many eclipse viewing glasses on the market may be unsafe.

Many glasses may not have lenses that are certified by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), meaning their lenses may not provide adequate protection from looking directly at the sun, according to NASA.

The total solar eclipse, the first to cross the entire continental U.S. since 1918, will occur next Monday. Looking at it without proper protection can cause serious and permanent damage to your eyes.

Eclipse viewing glasses are necessary to look directly at the eclipse while the sun is partly covered. During the two-minute “totality,” when the sun is completely blocked, it is safe to take the glasses off, according to NASA. But most places are not in the path of totality.

NASA recommends buying eclipse viewing glasses from any one of just five companies: American Paper Optics, Baader Planetarium, Rainbow Symphony, Thousand Oaks Optical and TSE 17. American Paper Optics is the largest of those companies, with sales reaching 500,000 pairs of glasses per day in the weeks leading up to the eclipse, according to USA Today.

NASA also recommends eclipse viewers ensure that the ISO certification number 12312-2 and the manufacturer’s address are printed on viewing glasses.

Solar eclipse glasses can be bought in stores, including some Walmart and Lowe’s Home Improvement locations, according to the American Astronomical Society, which helped NASA compile a list of reputable manufacturers.

But glasses from companies not recommended by NASA are readily available online, where it is sometimes hard to tell the difference between safe and potentially risky glasses.

Be careful when shopping online. Among the top 50 results in an Amazon.com search for solar eclipse glasses, none of the five “sponsored” products was manufactured by one of the NASA-recommended companies.

Of the eight “Best Seller” glasses in that search, three claimed to be manufactured by American Paper Optics and one by TSE 17. The other four were manufactured by companies not included in NASA’s recommendations.

Online news outlet Quartz reports that some of the American Paper Optics glasses sold on Amazon are counterfeit. A key identifier is the shape of the earpieces; authentic APO glasses have a squared-off earpiece shape, while counterfeit APO products may have rounded ears, according to Quartz.

Many Amazon reviewers complain that the glasses received do not match the certification description on the site.

“Unfortunately, we trusted the description on Amazon, but the glasses have no markings as to certification or manufacturer,” reads a one-star review on a “sponsored” listing. “The package says they are certified and made in China. They may be safe, but there is no way to know for sure.”