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10 March 2017

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Never lose your glasses again

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When Allen Liao was still at university he borrowed a friend's expensive sunglasses and lost them.

"He wasn't very happy with me so that's how it all started," Liao says.

The 23-year-old dropped out of uni to start developing Tzukuri, a line of "unlosable" glasses which went on sale this week.

Tzukuri integrates hand-crafted glasses with Bluetooth technology. The glasses are connected to an iOS app, which notifies the owner if they are left behind, records the last GPS location and shows proximity when searching for them indoors.


The range is manufactured in Sydney from cellulose acetate which is a 100 per cent renewable and recyclable natural biopolymer manufactured from cotton and wood pulp.

Tzukuri creates both glasses and sunglasses priced at $480 including prescription lenses. They are available online and from a pop-up at Sydney's Old Clare Hotel which opened this week.

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6 March 2017

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Impossible to lose

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For the past two years, in the basement of a nondescript family home in Sydney's eastern suburbs, a 23-year-old Taiwanese-Australian has quietly been developing an item of wearable tech that could fundamentally alter the way we see.

On paper, it sounds incredibly simple: embed a tiny locator chip in a pair of spectacles so the wearer never has to worry about losing them. But back in 2014, when the idea struck electrical engineering student Allen Liao, there was no such product on the market.

Liao realised that being able to find their glasses quickly could change the habits of those who wear spectacles only for certain tasks, encouraging more consistent use and improving long-term eye-health outcomes. And fewer lost pairs would mean less metal and plastic waste plus ongoing savings for those of us who can't seem to hold on to a pair of glasses.

The commercial prospects in Australia alone – where an estimated 41 million pairs of glasses are sold each year – are significant. And Liao says that unloseable glasses are just the beginning: in future, the chip could have medical applications or be used to control lenses that are responsive to different environmental conditions.