Lost your glasses? There’s an app for that! Don’t get too excited people – there isn’t. But why ever not? When technology governs, tracks and organises all parts of our life these days, surely someone can come up with a clever way of keeping track of our face furniture.
Perhaps it’s the evenings closing in, or just my failing sight, but after studying something close up, I currently end up groping my way around the house like a mole recently emerged from its deepest tunnel, unable to see anything at all, let find the small and mostly transparent gadgets which might restore my ability to see.
I vaguely recall some Christmas novelties that allowed you to locate car keys. The concept involved either whistling or clapping to activate a listening device on the key fob at which point it would issue a noise akin to an irritated warbler. Follow the noise and find the keys! Great principle. It almost worked, bar the fact it was sensitive to more than just whistles and claps. Virtually anything would set it off with the result that even the owners of the most expensive car on earth would eventually become so furious that they would throw their own keys into the nearest body of deep water, along with the door keys to their foreign villa, personal jet and gold vault.
And a similar device surely wouldn’t work with glasses. Random noise activation when in use would render the wearer deaf as a post. And the benefit of sight is definitely not one to trade against the ability to hear. Nor would it be comfortable or aesthetic.
There must be another way.
Even through the medium of print, I can hear the voices shouting ‘There may not be an app for that, but there’s always a lanyard!’ Yes of course there is. But many opticians offer deals for one pair of standard spectacles alongside a pair of prescription sunglasses. One lanyard will not do the job! Besides which, varifocals have largely removed the necessity to swap one pair of glasses for another through the course of the day. Self darkening glasses almost managed to negate the need for ‘ordinary’ glasses and ‘sun’ glasses. But they proved sulky at times and when particularly petulant could slam the door on more light than was required, to the detriment and dismay of the wearer.
I’ve always favoured the ‘two pairs’ approach. But there have been more than one occasion when I’ve found myself out and about only to realise, Cinderella style, that unless I get myself home sharpish, I’m going to be trying to drive in failing light sporting a pair of utterly unsuitable and useless sunnies.
I remember, in particular, attending a solemn occasion in Church only to realise I had forgotten my ‘ordinary’ glasses; that I only had with me the darkened pair I’d worn to drive through the bright summer day. I resigned myself to a fuzzy ceremony experienced largely through the sense of sound but thought I’d just put the sunglasses on to take a quick peek at the board to memorise the hymn numbers. In the nanoseconds it took me to locate the relevant numbers in the hymnbook, the coffin arrived and I turned around at the opening of the Church doors. As my eyes met the family of the bereaved, my right lens slowly, and quite deliberately fell out. Seriously, there is only one thing worse than wearing sunglasses in God’s house in the first place, and that is for the glasses themselves to perform an inappropriate comedy act.
And then there’s the ‘fashion’ of eyewear. I never even knew that was a thing! I don’t buy my own clothes without my children’s endorsement so I’m certainly not going to choose face furniture without their input. But fashion being fashion; ie, we’re all wearing something of a similar style, the potential for mayhem in our house is huge. We’re a fairly myopic crew – and all favour the glasses/sunglasses option when buying. So, there are literally loads of glasses lying around the place, with little guarantee of the correct owner finding the correct pair. I’ve taken to removing all abandoned eyewear to a central control centre; a system I thought would work well. Can’t find your glasses – head to ‘optical central’ and you will surely find. Only it transpires I forgot to tell anyone else about my consummate organisation.
Perhaps the ultimate solution is laser treatment. It is now a lot cheaper and very much more versatile than it once was. But I have two excuses for not doing this. The first is that I am a coward – pure and simple. My son has had it done and has had to tell me about it in instalments, simply so I don’t get too squeamish and distressed. (As he claims to have been too delicate ever to clear up after the dogs, I am sore amazed at his fortitude). And secondly, even though it is far more accessible than it once was, it still requires the sacrifice of a small animal or equivalent each month to finance it. Not for everyone I think.
To be honest, I’m not even sure I want to see the world in sharp focus all the time anyway. Sometimes I like the ‘fuzzy round the edges’ view I have. Certainly when I’m getting ready to face the world in the morning. I might be horrified if I could see clearly.
But an app to find your glasses. Can it be so hard? Surely a little chip in the frames would allow you to play a new version of the ‘hotter’ ‘colder’ game we used to favour as kids so your phone would intensify in reds and blues as you grew closer or farther away from your prey. Maybe a button on your handset that activates LED cells in the frames of your glasses illuminating them like a lighthouse in the gloom of a darkening room.
Perhaps it’s because most app programmers reach the pinnacle of their careers in their late teens when myopia hasn’t ground them down to the point where ‘spectacle searching’ is likely to become a viable Olympic sport.
But I’m telling you here and now – the first glasses frames that go on sale fully armed with a locating device, regardless of style – I’m having them!