JINS MEME takes a literally different look at smart glasses

Smart glasses seem to really be on the rise again, perhaps for good, perhaps for a brief spurt again. But whatever the trend in smart eyewear, Tokyo-based eyewear maker JINS is putting a different spin on the device class. While most, if not all, smart glasses are content to look at the world outside, the JINS MEME smart eyewear takes a look at the world within, that is, your own body. In a nutshell, MEME tries to gauge your health simply by observing your eyes and your head movement.

If smartwatches and smartbands have their pedometers and sensor, so too the JINS MEME, minus the pedometer. In a sense, the MEME is the probably the first health focused smart glasses. It might also be the first blind one, since it really doesn't have any sensor or camera to see the outside world. What it does have are Electrooculography (EOG) electrodes in places where the frames touch the face to monitor eye blinking and movement in all eight directions. It does have an accelerometer and a gyroscoope to measure body axis and walking patterns.

Data coming from these sensors are used to interpret the user's health and body state. For example, it can determine, or at least try to, whether the user is feeling tired or sleepy. This information can be used by the user to be more aware of his or her health and by researchers. The motion sensors on the eyewear can of course also be used in the traditional sense for monitoring steps taken and calories burned, as well as posture. Alternatively, the device can be used for entertainment and gaming, translating head or eye movement to control playback or games.

JINS will be showcasing its MEME eyewear at CES next year, from January 6 to 9, 2015. It plans to use the smart glasses to appeal to a broader market, particularly in the US, as it starts to expand its market reach outside of Asia next year.