London-based eyewear brand Kite has teamed up with Benjamin Hubert’s design agency Layer to launch a service that takes 3D scans of customers’ faces, then uses them to produce perfectly fitting frames.
KiteONE is a range of modular, 3D-printed glasses, available with a variety of custom specifications and details. They can be printed to fit the size and proportions of any face, to ensure a perfect fit.
According to Layer, this level of customisation is a first in the eyewear sector.
“KiteONE is the most tailored eyewear available, offering you both a high degree of comfort and aesthetic options,” Hubert told Dezeen.
“Wrapped in a highly intuitive service, it also has the potential to be super accessible and aims to bring more people into the creative process.”
Customers go to a Kite store to get their head and face scanned via a handheld scanner. This 3D scan records various measurements, including distance between pupils, head and nose width, and ear positioning.
The customer’s head is then visualised on the KiteONE app, which was also designed by Layer, and the glasses are fitted live on screen. The measurements taken by the scanner inform the dimensions of the eyewear and temple length so that the frames fit perfectly.
The scanning software also allows users to further customise the frames by slightly altering the softness of the lens form to better suit their face shape.
Once the eyewear has been created digitally, the file is sent to Kite’s local supplier network to be 3D printed, finished and dyed. This process takes three weeks to complete.
The 3D-printed components are then assembled in-store by a Kite stylist.
The entire range is based on a single, classic frame style that can be customised in a number of ways.
The frame is made from a 3D-printed nylon material, while the integrated nose pads are made from breathable silicone rubber with a matt finish, to minimise the contact point, and any heat or sweat build up.
Each frame comes in a choice of four different temple style options that allow the user to tailor their eyewear to an activity or to improve the fit.
The first option, Classic, is made entirely from 3D-printed material to create a clean and minimal style.
The Tip option uses a high-grade injection-moulded plastic. It offers a tighter fit, as the temple tips are heated during the final fitting, allowing them to be closely tailored to the size of a customer’s head.
The third option, Cord Tip, is also made from a high-grade injection-moulded plastic, but includes an integrated textile cord. This allows the glasses to hang around the neck.
The final option is Sport Tip, which comes with an integrated elasticated sportsband designed to keep the eyewear firmly in place during sporting activities. It is also made from injection-moulded plastic.
The KiteONE collection is available in three different colours: charcoal, moss green and brick red. Customers also have the option to further customise, by printing a bespoke message inside the temple, or adding silver or rose gold hinges and branding details.
The modular eyewear range was launched in September this year at designjunction as part of London Design Festival, and will be rolled out in stores in Spring 2019.
It isn’t the first collaboration between Layer and Kite – founders Benjamin Hubert and Asad Hamir have also teamed up on new electronic accessories brand Nolii. Intended to disrupt the tech product market, it recently launched a lamp that doubles as a “digital sunrise” alarm clock.