Custom 3D printed eyewear is something of a trend in the industry, with a range of startups promising to deliver bespoke frames to customers thanks to AM. If there is one brand you’ll want to keep your eye on, it is probably King Children, a New York-based company that recently secured $2 million in funding for its launch.
The company, which brought on investors such as Great Oaks VC, RBC Venture Partners, Gen Z Capital and Neil Parikh, the co-founder of Casper, is offering affordable 3D printed eyewear personalized to the customer thanks to a handy app. According to the company, its glasses will cost only $125 a pair and will give clients the freedom to choose their desires frame shape, colour and lenses.
What sets King Children apart from other custom 3D printed eyewear brands the most is probably its app, which is compatible with iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR. Before you start thinking “why isn’t it android compatible?,” there is a fairly good reason. You see, the app relies on some of Apple’s newest iPhone technologies, including Depth Control, to 3D scan customers’ faces with high accuracy (down to the millimeter).
The app offers users a “hyper-realistic virtual try-on experience,” that lets them determine and choose the shape and size of the frame they want as well as the size of the lenses, the width of the nose bridge, the nose pad position, the temple length, frame wrap and pantoscopic tilt. Consumers can also choose whether they want prescription lenses or sun lenses. For an additional fee of $30, customers can also choose Blue Block lenses, which block out 98% of blue light.
For an added touch of personalization, shoppers can also opt to include a custom inscription on the frames (up to 10 characters) for no extra cost. When the order is processed, King Children 3D prints the glasses—which it says are durable, scratch-resistant and anti-reflective, and ship them within two weeks.
“Today’s one-size-fits-all approach overlooks millions of different facial features and structures representative of our world today,” commented Sahir Zaveri, co-founder and CEO of King Children. “At King Children, we embody the values of diversity, inclusivity, creativity and self-expression—a culture that embraces our community and our infinite differences. With King Children, we treat all faces equally. Every pair of frames created is the only one that exists.”
The startup was founded by Sahir Zaveri and Dave Lee who were determined to do away with the aforementioned “one-size-fits-all” mentality in eyewear and offer something that could be customized to the utmost degree while still being accessible and inclusive. King Children delivers on this largely thanks to a combination of 3D printing and augmented reality technology.
“Our in-app experience harnesses technology beyond today’s norm in commerce, ensuring accuracy during 3D scanning and giving shoppers the capability to purchase and receive their designs right then and there,” added co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Dave Lee. “We wanted to create something for the modern shopper that is as simple as using a filter on social media, and delivers every piece of customization and quality they’ve been craving for a truly collaborative design process.”
The startup has also launched the King Children Residency Program, which aims to provide a platform for artists, musicians, dancers and other types of creatives through which they are connected and supported. The first members of the residency program include Ezinma, Baby Yors and Dan Huston.