IDEO flexing its specs in the US

If you fancy yourself as the next Carl Lewis, head for the US and check out Nike’s new moulded plastic Magneto sunglasses. Developed by designer David Peschel of IDEO’s San Francisco office, these high performance specs have already hit the malls across the Atlantic, but won’t be available in the UK until 1998.

The lightweight Magneto specs were developed for the professional athlete to cut out environmental hazards of road and track running, such as flying insects and glare. IDEO claims lens-fogging has been overcome by using a ventilated nose bridge, which adjusts to the face and promotes airflow between the eyes.

‘Flying’ polycarbonate lenses are attached to only one side of the frame so that the eye remains perpendicular to the lens, however you move your head. The lenses themselves feature decentred optics to give accurate depth perception and reduce prismatic shift.

Magneto, the master brand, attaches directly on to the face for sports deities who don’t want conventional earpieces. The athlete sticks a small Band-Aid-protected piece of metal to his or her face using skin-friendly glue. A magnet in the spectacle frame secures the sunglasses to this. But for us mere mortals, there are the less sophisticated (and less expensive) V8 and V12 models, which look like elegant versions of ordinary specs.

In true Nike style, Magneto has already been endorsed by the fleet-footed Lewis, who worked with IDEO on prelaunch tests. Cool running.

Designer: IDEO

Client: Nike

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