Get smart looks with the Weon Glasses (hands-on)

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/ Updated: 20 March 2014, 2:35 am AEDT

BARCELONA, Spain -- Want eye wear that connects to your smartphone but don't relish the prospect of looking like a glasshole? Perhaps the Weon glasses from Ion Eyewear are more your speed. Essentially a standard eyeglass frame with one arm hollowed out to hide an electronics module, the Weon blinks a color LED light when notifications hit your phone.

The company behind the device, Ion Eyewear envisions the Weon as the perfect solution for discrete mobile notifications. I got a chance to see a prototype of the Weon Glasses, made by a 3D printer no less, at MWC 2014. Though the gadget I handled was clearly roughly crafted, Ion Eyewear told me the final product will be manufactured by a professional Italian eyeglass maker.

Weon Glasses
Smart looks with smartphone alerts. Brian Bennett/CNET

Indeed the focus of the Weon are the normal eyeglass-wearing public, not technology evangelists or early adapters -- the sort who drop $1,500 on Google Glass. That's why Ion thinks it has a winner with the Weon, which at first glance appear conventional but provide a conduit to smartphone alerts. Connecting to iOS devices via wireless Bluetooth, you can set the Weon's LED light to glow in a rainbow of colors through its companion app. Users also have the ability to set color-coded alerts.

Weon Glasses
Use the app to set color-coded alerts. Brian Bennett/CNET

Another slick feature is the app's radar mode, which pings the Weon Glasses to locate it. Hopefully that'll help you find your frames when they disappear behind the couch or under the bed mysteriously. Interested in owning a set of Weon Glasses? Ion Eyewear expects its product to hit American and European markets in May 2014 for 129 Euros ($129).

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