Gunnar's i-AMP Technology, What is?

If your eyes are screaming for mercy after repeated 8-hour a day torture, staring at bright screens in  a windowless, artificially lit office then you might be considering getting yourself a pair of computer glasses to protect your eyes. In my earlier article we’ve reviewed Gunnar’s Anime glasses, now we’ll look behind Gunnar’s marketing claims and demystify Gunnar's iAMP "technology."

FRACTYL(107471)Credit: Gunnar OptiksCredit: Gunnar Optiks

FRACTYL – Lens Geometry

The first of these claims is what Gunnar calls FRACTYL, a fancy name to refer to the curved characteristics of the glasses that traps humidity around the eyes. In truth, I doubt if there is any real science to this. The curvature alone is not enough to trap any significant moisture around your eyes, unless of course if you blast steam under your face! These glasses are not goggles and will not trap any sort of humidity in the space between your eyes and lenses.


DIAMIXCredit: Gunnar OptiksCredit: Gunnar Optiks

DIAMIX – Lens Material

Now this is a funny one. Problem according to Gunnar: "Traditional lens materials force a decision between the benefits of clarity and color control or durability and impact resistance. No other material possesses the best of both."
Gunnar’s Solution: "DIAMIX lens material optimizes durability and impact resistance while maintaining the highest degree of clarity and color control."
Don’t laugh. Despite the lack of any hard facts about this claim, the plastic lenses are actually of good quality. It’s lightweight and appears to be sturdier than ordinary plastic lenses.

i-FICredit: Gunnar OptiksCredit: Gunnar Optiks
i-FI – Lens Coatings

Now here’s where proven technology comes in, despite Gunnar’s tendency for fancy names. I-FI simply refers to the 2 lens coatings that Gunnar puts on every glasses they make. The first one is an anti-reflection (AR coating) coating that minimizes reflection on the lens surface. Technically, this improves the efficiency of Gunnar eyewear, or any lens treated with AR coating, since less light is lost through reflection. This results in less glare and makes treated lenses ideal not only for computer use but also for night driving.

The next coatings are anti-scratch and anti-fog coatings. There is no such thing as a scratch resistant lens, but the coating on Gunnar makes the eyeglasses more resistant to daily wear and the regular wiping. The anti-fog coating works wonders. Condensation on the lens disappears almost instantly, making your vision clear even if you transition from cold to hot temperature.



IONIKCredit: Gunnar OptiksCredit: Gunnar Optiks
IONIK – Lens Tints

This is the hallmark of Gunnar eyewear, the yellow tinted-lens. Although, Gunnar offers clear lenses for professionals who need to work in realtime colors. My hunch is, these clear lenses don’t offer as much protection as the yellow-tinted ones. Why? Because yellow and blue are complementary colors, they tend to neutralize each other. The yellow tint in the lens actually saves your eyes from the harmful visible blue light emitted by most digital displays.

Gunnar Optiks Anime Eyewear - ComparisonCredit: Gunnar OptiksCredit: Gunnar Optiks

MISC – Magnification 

Although not included in any of Gunnar’s marketing literature, it is important to note that these eyeglasses has a slight magnification (common to any computer glasses) that together with the coatings, give you an impression of vision enhancement. In my 2 years experience of using Gunnar’s Anime, I found that this magnification eases my eyes. I squint less.



Now that we know what’s really behind Gunnar’s marketing mumbo-jumbo, it’s easier to make an informative decision about buying a pair of Gunnars. Out of the 4 claims, only i-FI and IONIK are the most important factor the make Gunnar glasses live up to their claim.

Though I must admit that I’m a sucker for Gunnar’s style especially the Anime and Phenom. I guess we must say kudos to the marketing genius behind this eyewear, making an otherwise ordinary pair of computer glasses seem like a technological advancement.
However, don’t expect any improvement on your vision, if you stare at a screen 24/7. The eyewear is just there to help minimize the strain in your eyes, not to eliminate the possible risks of burning your eyes with your computer’s LCD screen.
If you’re willing to go through it, you could probably just go to a lens crafter (which I have done before Gunnar) buy a good pair of ordinary glasses and ask them to put the coatings and tint. Voila, advance digital eyewear!