Citron Introduces Glasses That 'Eliminate Motion Sickness,' With One Obvious Downside
Citroën has developed a device, meant to be worn on the face, that resemble eyeglasses and can eliminate the symptoms associated with motion sickness within minutes of putting them on. Or so it claims.
Obviously, such an invention would be a blessing for travelers afflicted with a sensitive stomach, but we’ve noticed they’re not the most stylish set of frames on the market. On the spectrum of taste, we’d place them right between the novelty glasses people wear during New Year’s Eve — denoting the coming annum — and the false spectacles you drew on your passed-out roommate’s face in college.
However, if you view Citroën motion sickness glasses as a medical device, they become easier on the eyes. Tragically named Seetroën, the frames are said to use “Boarding Ring™ technology” and boast 95 percent effectiveness. All you have to do is wait until you feel sick and chuck these bad boys onto your face. After about ten minutes, the glasses “enable the mind to resynchronize with the movement perceived by the inner ear while the eyes were focused on an immobile object.”
Typically, motion sickness gets really bad when you’re trying to use a mobile device or read a book while riding in an automobile. As the body is subjected to involuntary movements caused by the automobile, the eyes attempt to focus upon a fixed object. This causes the central nervous system to get conflicting messages and everything starts to go haywire. While you can feel ill just looking out the window, drivers are less susceptible since they’re constantly scanning and in control of the vehicle’s movements.
According to the automaker, Seetroën works by having each ring house a tab with with liquid that recreates the horizon line to resolve the conflict between the senses that causes the affliction. Basically, there’s an air pocket, somewhat similar to something you might find on a carpenter’s bubble level, that’s supposed help orient the mind to the true horizon — regardless of where you’re looking. After a short period, Citroën says you can even take the glasses off and enjoy the rest of your trip without experiencing a persistent desire to vomit.
However, the design leaves us doubting its overall effectiveness, especially in the absence of legitimate scientific backing for the claim. Those of us who already wear glasses know that eye tends to focus far beyond the frame. In fact, you aren’t really even aware that you’re wearing glasses most of the time. Are the bubbles hidden in the bottom of the frame really enough to keep the eyes synced with inner ear? Also how can the glasses continue to work when they aren’t being worn? That bit smacks of the marketing department admitting to themselves that nobody in their right mind would want to wear these things for more than twelve minutes at a time in public.
Will the Seetroën will be remembered as a gimmicky and pointless invention, like the Baby Mop and Car Exhaust Grill, or are we looking at the next lightbulb? Citroën seems to have faith. It’s confident enough to sell the item for $116. If that sounds like too much, they should also work equally well for sea and air sickness — tripling their value!
Frankly, if they do work as claimed, they would become an invaluable addition to some travelers’ backpacks. There are few experiences less pleasant than being trapped inside a small space you aren’t supposed to puke into and desperately needing to.
As for the frame’s questionable looks, the automaker claims they’re actually very fetching. Citroën called upon a collective design studio based in Paris “which has successfully incorporated the brand’s fresh, simple and ergonomic style. The result is a pair of glasses with a high-tech look in white soft-touch plastic.”
Oh, now we see it. Magnificent.
A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.
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