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High-tech

Auctify Specs: glasses that put an end to procrastination… and keep an eye on us

Procrastination is now a thing of the past. That’s the promise of Auctify Specs, anyway, intelligent glasses that boost our productivity. Good thing or bad thing? We certainly have our reservations.

Anti-procrastination glasses to optimise our work time

With deadlines looming, you’re racing to finish what you’re working on. But despite your best attempts to concentrate, your eyes can’t help but wander towards your tempting phone screen as it lights up with notifications. But after a quick scroll, a few likes and just a couple of videos, your deadline is even closer. Canadian start-up Auctify has come up with a solution to these distractions with Specs: their anti-procrastination glasses.

These Specs keep an eye on what you’re up to and analyse what you’re looking at in real time with a camera and micro sensors set into the frame. The data they collect is uploaded to a dedicated app where graphs show the times when you were most concentrated during the day and detect the things that most impact your efficiency. And if that isn’t enough, the frames can sound an alarm or give you a visual signal whenever you get distracted, so if you try and look at your phone, they will know.

The settings can also be personalized to help you stick to your own goals and let the glasses know what your version of productivity is. The lenses can also be adapted to your vision.

According to their creators, the goal of the glasses is to ‘carve out more time to do things just for ourselves’. The idea certainly seems to be popular as the start-up has collected more than €59,000 on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo. The Auctify Specs will hit the market from late January 2021 and will retail for just over €200.

The glasses are certainly innovative but we can’t help imagining scenes worthy of Black Mirror.

 

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Are smart glasses really the answer?

The idea of glasses that improve our daily lives has caught on more and more ever since Google unveiled Glass. Frames go from simply improving vision to true technological gadgets that make life easier, or even protect us like these glasses that prevent drowsiness while driving. With all the possibilities that these technologies offer, there are some burning questions that need answering: how useful are they really and what are the potential pitfalls? There are of course some smart designs with real benefits like Ellcie Healthy’s design that can send warnings when elderly people have a fall.

So when it comes to productivity, wanting a tool that helps us optimise the time we spend working is easy to understand. There are actually quite a few around, from the gentle to the downright intrusive, and these anti-procrastination Specs are particularly invasive. Hence our reservations. If you set them to beep whenever you get distracted, they can actually become an additional source of stress. What is more, a tendency to get distracted can cover up anxiety according to the Psychologies website, where a lack of self-confidence or fears that need to be faced to carry out a task can be at the heart of putting things off to the last minute. In these cases, an intrusive tool like the Auctify Specs could actually increase stress without taking care of the root causes. Clearly counter-productive.

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Is Big Brother watching you?

In a scarier scenario, one might wonder what would happen to these glasses if they were to get into the wrong hands. Thinking cynically, they would be the perfect tool for any company that wanted to track the productivity of its employees, especially as working from home becomes more and more the norm during the Covid-19 epidemic. A manager in their kitchen could see what their team was doing at all times. If you think this scenario sounds extreme, don’t be so sure. Large companies like Lidl have already installed accessories that increase the work pace of their employees, almost dehumanising them, as the 2017 Cash Investigation french TV found out. As long as Auctify’s anti-procrastination Specs remain harmless, we can see the benefits. But let’s stay wary of innovations like this, and make sure we’re keeping them in check.

And for anyone reading this article instead of working, let us distract you a little more with the latest glasses trends picked apart by EYESEE.mag. After all, procrastination can have its good sides…

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Written by Josh Arnold