Austin Soldner and Michael Schaecher, the co-founders of the new sunglasses brand Futuremood, met at the recently formed San Francisco research and advancement lab created by the high-end audio tech developer Bose.
There was also a chance to bring the products science and tech-forward techniques that sneaker business have developed to an industry that hadn’t seen any real technical transformations in decades.
Enter Futuremood “Auras,” which the business bills as the first glasses clinically checked and proven to alter your mood.
Image Credits: Futuremood(opens in a new window)Any mood-altering results are thanks to Zeiss’halochrome lens innovation, which the
lens manufacturer has been dealing with– and publishing documents on– to suss out the science behind its claims that making use of filtered light can change the way folks feel. There’s some preliminary research that the business has done, but the science is still mainly unproven(Zeiss performed two studies at European universities).
Schaecher and Soldner are followers, and the two longtime tech officers see these lenses as a window into a broader world of material science experimentation and item development that they’re hoping to give market with Futuremood.
“If you think of tennis shoes and where Nike and Adidas got to where they are today, it was through development in product design and products and branding and marketing and all of that had actually been missing from the sunglasses area,” Schaecher stated.
The second marketing hire at Airbnb and the very first marketing hire at the now-defunct Munchery, Schaecher knows a thing or more about branding. Soldner, the creator of Playground.fm, and a former product designer at Jawbone, is the technical professional and lead designer for all of Futuremood’s frames.
“We truly saw a chance to forge ahead in technical development and product development,” said Schaecher. “We have a stockpile of things to forge ahead of what sunglasses are.”
One thing sunglasses are is a really very big service. Consumers invested $14.5 billion on sunglasses in 2018, according to the market research study firm, Grand View Research.
If Futuremood can catch even a fraction of that market with its distinct spin on sunglasses, it’ll be in good shape.
Just like any excellent direct to customer item, Futuremood’s distinction begins with its packaging. Tapping in to the mood-altering “wearable drugs” aesthetic, the business’s item is packaged in boxes with the exact same intense shades as the sunglasses. Inside there’s a cloth to clean up the glasses, a velvet pouch to hold them and a scented pack of incense matches and a slightly tarot-esque card with details about the glasses and the experience they’re suggested to stimulate (there’s even a Spotify playlist to listen to).
In an e-mail, Schaecher explained the sensation as “not as subtle as CBD, but not as strong as a shot of tequila or glass of Rosé.
“Austin and I are really into different ways of self care and taking moments and … we believed there was a chance to bring delight and joy,” with the product packaging, Schaecher said. “We don’t anticipate individuals to be firing up Spotify playlists and incense matches whenever they wear things.”
Futuremood has been mainly bootstrapped to date, and like everything else in the year of our Lord 2020, the company’s plans were pressed back by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Our lenses are made in Zeiss’ Italian factory and the glasses were made outside of Shenzhen,” said Schaecher. “We quarantined the first order for two weeks. Zeiss was right because region of Italy that was getting struck hard. We have actually been postponing ever since. It’s hard to put into words what it’s like to grind on something for eighteen months … and then have to postpone launching.”
Even with the pandemic, however, the business moved ahead with the design for its second product, and that provides a tip for where Schaecher and Soldner wish to choose their business. “We have our second product line which is not mood-altering glasses,” stated Schaecher. “That’s a traditional sunglasses line that uses titanium alloy metals that are more commonly seen in aerospace than in eyeglasses.”
The style aesthetic is also more in the high-end vein, which Schaecher teased belonged to something that would be more at home in a Cartier display room instead of a direct to consumer brand name’s digital storefront.
Today, the company is going direct to consumers through its site, however it’s looking at the capacity for some retail cooperations and field marketing when the country opens back up for service.
As for the mood-altering effects and whether “wearable drug” can win market share, Schaecher is pretty positive. “Individuals certainly have reactions,” he stated. “It’s a fun, brand-new thing that’s never existed prior to.”
Image Credits: Futuremood Article curated by RJ Shara from Source. RJ Shara is a Bay Area Radio Host (Radio Jockey) who talks about the startup ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investments, policies and more on her show The Silicon Dreams. The show streams on Radio Zindagi 1170AM on Mondays from 3.30 PM to 4 PM.