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Q&A with Kevin Kuo of Dentyzion, Creators of First Google Glass Loupes

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Q: What do you want the dental profession to know about your company?

A: Dentyzion is a dental technology and digital marketing consulting company, co-founded by one 3rd year and three 4th year dental students from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. In short, we are a team of innovative and creative thinkers. We hope to provide clients with unique technological solutions to dental problems. Dentistry is quickly changing. The profession needs to adapt to continue to provide optimal care for patients. We feel technology can be the solution to many of those problems. We also specialize in helping our clients promote their practices and products. Bottom line, we provide a service. We don?t make products. We instead help others make stuff or make stuff happen. In other words, we won?t invent the light bulb. We won?t even fix a broken one. We are the ones to make light in places nobody has before. That?s how we approach technology.

Q: How did you get started with this project and how did Google Glass Loupes come to be?

A: Our first project as a company involved coming up with ideas to implement Google Glass in dentistry. After our initial brainstorming, we quickly realized that Google Glass was not practical without the ability to wear it alongside loupes, as most dentists wear magnification optics when practicing dentistry. The 4 of us designed and created a visual mock-up where a clear shield, with its mounted optics, was attached to the existing Glass frames. We then presented the idea to SurgiTel who made the mock-up into a reality?the world?s first Google Glass loupes.

Dentyzion             Dentyzion Google Glass Loupes

Q: How did you all settle on this final design?

A: We pondered the design for quite awhile. The difficulty came with the fact that our design needed to be practical and comfortable for the users, and at the same time, profitable for a manufacturer. Obviously, a dedicated Google Glass frame for loupes would be ideal, but that would require us to work with Google directly?which was not an option at the time. First, we then had to decide to try to attach loupes to Glass, or Glass to existing loupe frames. It is certainly possible to attach the Glass display on a non-dedicated Glass frame. However several issues, such as balance and functionality, prevented us from retrofitting Glass. We, instead, focused on adding optics to the current Glass designs. We then had to decide on which Google Glass frames to base our design?from the default design or from the 4 prescription frames available. In the end, we decided on the default design as it allows the user to detach the loupes when used in surgery or dentistry. In other words, the surgeon or dentist does not need to buy 2 Google Glass devices if he or she wants to use Glass at home, and it is also easier for a manufacturer to produce and distribute.

Q: How did SurgiTel assist/help out in developing Google Glass Loupes?

A: SurgiTel was instrumental in defining the necessary optical attributes for a working model. For instance, they helped us realize the importance of working angulation to relieve back, eye, and neck strain. The ideal angles are determined by how the oculars are positioned onto lenses and how those lenses are positioned in relation to the frames. Lucky for us, the existing Google Glass frames allowed us to rightly position the oculars for the best comfort for the user. SurgiTel, of course, also produced the current model with their hi-tech laser assisted system to install loupes on a clear lens.

Q: What?s the coolest feature of Google Glass?

A: The technology in Google Glass is the future. This year, 2014, will be forever known as the year of wearable devices. This is the first year when a significant offering of wearable gadgets exists, from watches to glasses. Glass is a specific wearable technology that creates an augmented reality for the user. To put it simply, Glass is a computer that you wear on your head. There is a small visual display similar to a rearview mirror on a car, and it is controlled predominately by voice commands and by a side multi-touch pad. Additionally, there is a camera beside the visual display that allows the user to take pictures and record HD video.
The loupe lenses are critical for its functionality in dentistry. Now practitioners can use Glass while operating on patients. The SurgiTel Micro 2.5x optics installed on our design is incredibly light. We did not encounter any weight difference or balance issues with the loupes on Glass compared to them being off. The optics also include large buttons (the part of the optics closest to the eye), which allows better visibility and comfort. Some loupe manufactures provide optics that are less-cylindrical and more square, which are less expensive to produce but less useful for providers.

Q: How have Google Glass Loupes been received?

A: We?ve had a tremendously positive response from people who had the opportunity to try them on. Dental students and faculty at U of M immediately are in awe of this technology. The best part about our product design is that people love it and are excited about it. For us, this excitement is important for Dentyzion. We believe the best ideas are the ones that feel natural and useful for people, and we believe loupes and Google Glass fit those criteria.

Q: When will dentists/hygienists/dental students be able to purchase Google Glass Loupes?

A: At this moment, SurgiTel has decided not to officially sell or manufacturer these loupes for Google Glass. Please contact SurgiTel for more information if you have any inquiries about potentially purchasing the loupes. For questions about product development and implementation, please contact Dentyzion.

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