GUNNAR Optiks Digital Performance Eyewear

Author:HardOCP News

Editor:Kyle Bennett

Date: Friday , June 19, 2009

Who is GUNNAR Optiks? What is Digital Performance Eyewear? Why should you care? Is it all a load marketing BS or do these glasses really work? We put them on, left them on, and three [H] editors are here to share our experiences.


Founded in 2005, GUNNAR Optiks is a privately held company that develops "digital performance eyewear" for enhancing the computer viewing experience.

The company claims that their products not only provide an "immediate and noticeable visual advantage" but the product greatly reduces eye strain and the affects of Computer Vision Syndrom (CVS). If you use a computer or other digital device for extended periods of time, GUNNAR Optiks has its eye on you.

From the GUNNAR Optiks Website:

A monomaniacal passion for optical perfection. It’s a phrase that defines every action at GUNNAR. Our motivation? Human limits. Our mission? Expand those limits. Data streams at faster and faster rates each day. From computer screens to handhelds, workstations to digital entertainment devices, the torrent of information continues to pound outward in accelerated shock waves. You know that your eyes are the gateway to the digital world. And you also know that your eyes take that relentless pounding. You’ve felt it. GUNNAR is a company founded on one simple principle: You shouldn’t have to take it anymore.

So exactly how does GUNNAR Optiks’ digital performance eyewear improve visual performance and eye focus while combating eye strain and computer vision syndrome? To know that, we first need to know what causes eye strain and Computer Vision Syndrome. According to the American Optometric Association, the definition of CVS is:

Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is the complex of eye and vision problems related to work which are experienced during or related to computer use. CVS is characterized by visual symptoms which result from interaction with a computer display or its environment. In most cases, symptoms occur because the visual demands of the task exceed the visual abilities of the individual to comfortably perform the task.

Eye strain is actually one of the many symptoms of CVS as are headaches, dry eyes, blurred vision and or double vision. People that spend more than a few hours a day on a computer (*cough, cough* most of you) are susceptible to computer vision syndrome because the eye has to work extra hard to process the thousands of images and words made up of millions of tiny pixels. The human eye can focus on printed images far easier than they can on digital images or the text displayed on a computer monitor. Text and other images displayed on a computer monitor cause the eye to constantly focus and refocus contributing to eye fatigue, burning eyes, and tension. Most likely if you are reading this, you have had one or more of these symptoms if not all.

GUNNAR Optiks claims to have developed several proprietary technologies that, when used together, virtually eliminate the adverse affects of eye strain and other symptoms associated with long term computer use.

GUNNAR i-Fi: Multi-stage lens coatings filter transmitted light and protect the lens. The anti-reflective portion cuts glare and distracting extraneous light. A hydrophobic component keeps water spots to a minimum while an oleophobic coating protects from smudging and fingerprints. A final hard coat reduces environmental wear and minimizes scratching.

Simply put, i-Fi is a package of lens coatings that cuts down on glare, protects against lens smudging and minimizes scratching.

GUNNAR fRACTYL: Designed using advanced computer algorithms, fRACTYL lens geometry mimics nature by focusing light. Engineering in three dimensions, the highly wrapped configuration sits close to the face and creates an ocular microclimate by trapping in humidity and blocking out evaporative air currents.

What this means is the unique design of the glasses allows for a higher humidity level between the eye and the inner surface of the lens material compared to the ambient humidity level in the room. GUNNAR calls this a "microclimate" and says that this helps eyes from becoming dry and irritated.

GUNNAR iONik: Lens tints take artificial light and precisely tune the transmitted spectrum. Especially effective in eliminating high energy wavelengths that are overabundant in harsh fluorescent lights this proprietary lens tint specifically targets the parts of the spectrum that corresponds to the narrow bands of energy emitted by those bulbs.

This lens coating essentially reflects the bad light and enhances the good light. iONik also reduces "high energy" visible light while enhancing contrast to make text easier to read.

GUNNAR diAMIX: Lens material offers an optically pure viewing experience enhanced by ultra light, ergonomic properties. Developed specifically to hold the tightest tolerances in precision optics, this advanced polymer provides the best in visibility, flexibility, and durability.

The advanced polymer lens is an extremely light weight, shatter resistant material that is tough enough to be molded into a variety of shapes including rimless designs.

The company offers a wide variety of performance eyewear with a style for just about everyone:


The packaging used by GUNNAR Optiks is, in a word, impressive. If the packaging reflects the quality of the product inside, we are in for a treat. The black box is plain except for the company logo and the words Digital - Performance - Eyewear on the back. Once you slide the lid off the box you’ll find another box inside with a hinged lid and sturdy rubberize padding. The bottom of the inner box contains a red, foam padded insert with a cut out that fits your glasses perfectly. Also included is a bag for your glasses, care and handling instructions and warranty information.