By Anni Simpson on May 23, 2015 at 8:15am
Last September, NoScope offered Player Theory the opportunity to review their second generation glasses, and last month (sorry NoScope), we received a third chance to look at the new and improved versions. To make a long story short, NoScope learned important lessons from their previous release, and the new versions are markedly improved.
Like last time, there are two new styles to choose from:
- Gemini: Slimmer, sleeker frames that are more appropriate for the workplace and beyond. They are probably the most “normal” looking glasses that NoScope offers.
- Golum: Thicker frames that cover your peripheral vision. They are compatible with prescription lenses.
These models come after the original NoScope “Demon” model, as well as the second set which includes the aviator-style “Orion” frames and the plastic-frame “Hydra” frames.
NoScope stands as a possible low-cost competitor to the gaming glasses giant Gunnars, a higher end retailer, who is currently suing NoScope for copyright infringement.
I could be a poster child for the concept of strain. I work as a technical writer, which means eight hours of my workday is dedicated to looking at the glowing screens of my monitor and laptop. When I get home, I transition to a few hours on my PC playing some game or another (PC master race! Kidding … mostly.) My eyes are dry, and my neck often hurts from a specific kind of headache called “occipital neuralgia.” Wherever I can minimize discomfort and pain, I am grateful, so I am always on the lookout for new tools.
Comfort and Style
Gemini frames felt like a regular set of glasses. Although I am legally blind without my lenses and really couldn’t test these frames over any real length of time (they didn’t fit over or under my own pair), they felt comfortable on my face and no different than frames I’ve worn in the past. They also look sleek and professional, and I would’ve had no issue bringing them to work if I was able to see out of them.
But the Golum.
I absolutely fell in love with the Golum. My previous issues with NoScope lenses included needing large enough frames to cover my prescription pair, as well as the difficulty with my peripheral vision not being covered at the same time my normal perspective was. The experience of shifting back and forth between tinting and non-tinting was jarring, but the Golum covers the sides of your vision, as well as the front, so the experience remained consistent. They were also so comfortable on top of my glasses that I forgot I was wearing them eventually and finally … after two previous iterations … completely immersed myself in the experience of tinting.
While I was impressed with the direction NoScope had taken the second generation in terms of covering as much of your vision as possible, the Golum blew the previous set out of the water.
I plan on taking the NoScope Golum to work and legitimately using them. One of the things I do in the professional environment is write … which means really long periods of time in the high-contrast setting of Libre Office (or any other writer). While the tinted glasses are great in terms of long-term game sessions, they were amazing during work, as well.
As far as scientific evidence to support the effectiveness, theoriginal article cites research using the North Carolina State University library database (to which I have access as a graduate student), finding no statistically significant improvement for users wearing tinted glasses and users in the control groups from neither the Latvian Journal of Physics and Technical Sciences nor the Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics journals.
I honestly can’t rate the effectiveness of the Gemini frames. They’re pretty, and they’re definitely “adult” enough looking that they would be something I would consider wearing. However, I just can’t tell without being able to see full objects without them.
However, I’d recommend the Golum backwards and forwards. I don’t know how NoScope plans to top the Golum without creating the prescription lenses for me, because these were phenomenal. I absolutely love them.
If you’re not interested in glasses at all, these probably aren’t going to interest you anyway. You can always download flu.x for a free way to alleviate eye strain. However, I highly recommend these glasses, especially considering how low cost they really are. The Gemini run at a low $29.99 per pair, and the Golum run at an even lower $24.99.
Gunnars NCSU Libraru\y NoScope Glasses