“I like to think of it as something that either the Japanese or the Swiss would design,” says Michael Wong, marketing manager for Keepons eyeglass retainers.
“If you’re after products that function as beautifully as they look, and by function I mean solving a hyper-particular problem, you usually find yourself buying something Swiss or Japanese-made.
Effective yes. Beautiful yes too in that Keepons are extremely sleek and contoured. Not bulky or clumsy like traditional eyewear retainers.
“Yes, functionally eyewear retainers must stop your glasses from slipping and Keepons do that. They do that extremely effectively. But there’s another component to product design that many people ignore and that’s the aesthetic: does its presence enhance or diminish the wearer?
And that was the problem with first generation eyeglasses retainers. They were ugly and chunky so you were simply trading in one problem for another. First generation retainers stopped your glasses from slipping but made you look inelegant and awkward in the process of doing so.”
“With Keepons, silicone was a tactically good choice because it’s dense specific depending on your objective, which allowed us to minimize the overall spatial footprint of Keepons to keep them compact.
This was in line with our less is more design philosophy which made us consider that the best type of eyeglass retainer is one nobody knows you’re wearing. Invisible, discreet, without calling attention to itself.”
Such imperatives along with the transparent nature of Keepons proprietary silicone blend make Keepons sit on one end of the user spectrum with retainer styles like Croakies on the other end.
“Croakies were and still are a big hit with the college crowd, sports fans, that segment of the market where the retainer is encouraged to draw attention to its wearer. But from the very beginning we envisioned Keepons for a wider audience including business professionals where eyeglass cords wouldn’t be appropriate in an office setting,” added Wong.
Other considerations for an ideal design also makes comfort a high priority as well.
“Consider that Keepons is engineered from advanced type silicone. We chose silicone for many important reasons as already stated. Here’s another one. Its light-load property. They feel lighter than air and are comfortable to wear. This is important for extended daily use. Contrast this other retainer styles like eyeglass straps or cords. Cords are hideously uncomfortable. They lie on your neck and restrict movement.”
Silicone is also important because it’s pliable. The effectiveness of Keepons comes from its ability to pass over the wide part of your temple tips to rest on the narrower part in order to be ideally positioned to hook over your ears and stop your glasses from shifting forward due to movement, sweat, and gravity.
“Technically speaking, temple tip edge width is on average about eight millimeters then narrows down to about four millimeters. Pliability is important because Keepons have to thread over the wide part of temple tips without too much trouble then quickly revert back to its original shape in order to be snug around the narrow part. This is no easy engineering feat and we had to go through many different silicone mixes to arrive at ideal pliability ”
Such pliability was foundationally essential in the design of the Keepons flexi-aperture system, a hollow tunnel running through the center of each Keepons eyeglass retainer.
“Think of Keepons as a piece of macaroni. You know how macaroni has that hollow tunnel running through the middle of it? Keepons is like that. The hollow center allows the retainer to fit over your eyeglass temple tips and stay in place once it’s in place. Which then allows the hook portion of the retainer to do its job, namely to partially and softly latch over your ears to restrict forward eyeglass movement.”
“It’s really about technology to improve lives. Silicone is perfect also in that it is allergy-free and doesn’t absorb moisture. This is a very different story with fabric or cloth-based eyeglass retainers that soak up sweat and start to smell bad after day in day out use.”
Understanding the design and engineering challenges which prompted the Keepons solution allows for a deeper appreciation of a simple device which sells for just dollars a pair.
“Well, rarely does price indicate the amount of ingenuity that went into a product’s creation. Consider zippers or better yet, think of light bulbs. Yes, we’d like to think that if Edison were around today, his solution to the problem of eyeglass slipping wouldn’t look too different from what we created,” offers the chamightlike.com marketing manager with a chuckle.
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Curating cool one product at a time. Chamightlike.com is brought to you by mom and son team of MIchael and Julia Wong. Their first offering: bringing the world Keepons brand of eyeglass retainers to prevent your glasses from slipping.