Bluetooth Glasses of the Future! CEO Founder Harrison Gross on the Gentleman Style Podcast

 Harrison joins Marcus Norman of the Gentleman Style Podcast to discuss everything Lucyd Lyte! Shop for the new Bluetooth Speaker Glasses direct at: https://www.lucyd.co/collections/lucyd-lyte

Marcus Norman, CEO and Host of GENTLEMAN STYLE PODCAST, joins other leading CEO’s, founders, and thought leaders that have participated in this informative video interview series.

"Bluetooth Glasses of the Future" Full Interview:

Hey everybody. It's your boy, Marcus Norman from Gentlemen Style Podcast, your hosts in the number one podcast coming to you live in America. And today we have a very, very special guest, the CEO of this incredible startup. I am rocking this brand right now and I'm going to just tell you, I've been rocking these glasses for weeks. I don't want to spill any more tea. We're going to just dive right into it, here we go.

Everybody, it's Marcus Norman from Gentlemen Style Podcast, your host of the number one podcast, coming to live in America. And today I have the CEO, director and co-founder of incredible company, Lucyd.co. Mr. Harrison background is in tech and marketing and brand development. He drives the Lucyd brand story. Also, and user experience as well. He's also in charge of product development. This man is doing it all for this company with an incredible team behind him. He hails all the way from Columbia University and he's a graduate of the university.

He works at the Lucyd full-time, 40 plus hours a week. He is grinding and that's what most of us really have to understand that even as successful and as hardworking and as driven, and this man is, he puts in the work. And today we are in for a special treat. As we dive into these incredible glasses, I want to tell you, I call them smart glasses because they're smarter than me and they're coming for iPhone. So I'm going to put that little plug in here, Bill Gates, Microsoft, all y'all can hate me if you want, but introducing the incredible, amazing Mr. Harrison.

Harrison Gross:

Hey, thanks so much for having me. I really appreciate it.

Marcus Norman:

Absolutely. Thank you for joining Gentlemen Style Podcast show. We appreciate you being on and taking the time out of your busy schedule and giving back in this way. So sir, these glasses are phenomenal, but on top of that, I feel like there's a story. What inspired you to develop these glasses? What's the story behind them?

Harrison Gross:

So it actually goes back pretty far, but about three, four years ago, I was working for a tech incubator, which had the stated purpose of finding university technologies and turning them into startups basically. And we came across these really interesting, smart glass patents out of the UCF optics lab. And we were looking at sort of the smart glass space and there wasn't really any successful products yet back in 2017, it could still be said today, there hasn't really been anything that has gone fully mainstream. That's something that we're working on, of course. But we saw that there was a lot of white space. Nobody had been able to make smart glasses take off. There was the Google Glass, there were some other kind of off the shelf Chinese products, but there was nothing with this sort of brand power and the full prescription capabilities and that all day wearability factor that makes it not just another geeky tech product, but actually an upgrade to eyeglasses.

So we've always come at it from a perspective of we are an eyewear company. We make eyewear that is enhanced with technology. We do not just make a regular consumer electronic or another pair of headphones in the way that some of our competitors might look at it. And we start with great glasses and then we add in the tech features and we really made sure that this new product is light enough to wear all day because we saw that as the key barrier to mainstream adoption of smart eyewear and with this new Lyte, as Marcus has over there, that frame only weighs 1.4 ounces and the Wayfarer modeling was 1.2 ounces, which is a fraction of an ounce more than a standard regular old pair of glasses. So it really does feel and look like a regular pair of glasses. So we've made it to the point where the technology has finally gotten to a point where you have two pairs of glasses that look the same, that costs the same, but one has Bluetooth features and one doesn't.

So why would you ever pick the one that doesn't at this point? So we've tried to remove all of those barriers of entry with the smart eyewear, it's too expensive, it's too heavy, it's too geeky. They just look so unfashionable. We've answered all of these problems one by one and now we finally have an attractive, smart glass product that's affordable, that you can wear as your regular eyeglasses because we see that that is the target market for this product, is people that already wear glasses or sunglasses every day. And how do we deliver more value and more utility to that product without increasing the price and without making it look ugly? And after three previous lines of Bluetooth eyewear, we finally have this product, which is built largely completely community funded actually through the two crowdfunds that we've done.

And through that user community, their feedback has helped develop this product, working very closely with the company itself. So this is actually... You're wearing a fully crowdsource pair of glasses. It was built by the crowd, it was funded by the crowd, it was chosen by the crowd. We actually run surveys to determine our new styles among our community, so those were user chosen styles. So everything comes from our community and it just makes for such a stronger product because it's not just a product that was thunk up by a couple engineers in a room. This was a product that was built by thousands of eyewear lovers around the world.

Marcus Norman:

I love that. I absolutely love that. I mean, these glasses are lightweight, like you said, they're lightweight, they're incredible. And also you all, when I ordered these glasses, I can actually see you. These aren't the Walmart brand that you go pick up and you hope that you can see, when they were delivered, they came prescription and the packaging, the packaging was phenomenal. It was well labeled. It was identifiable and it kept my glasses safe. But I want to talk about some of the features. You mentioned Bluetooth, these glasses are Bluetooth enabled and how do they work? How do you enable? How do you activate the Bluetooth? I'll be your model here for the audience.

Harrison Gross:

I'm actually waiting on my prescription pair. It got held up by the mail this week because of the winter storms, all the mail got slowed down and it's just a disaster. So I'd love to be able to just show you a pair I'm wearing, but I got one over here with some blue light lenses in it just like you're wearing. Yep. And basically all there is, is a Bluetooth chip in each arm. They're completely independent. There's no wire running through the front, which allows us to have those more stylish fronts. And basically you got two little touch buttons on the bottom here, these little gold buttons. I don't know if you can see, but this is where you turn on the glasses and you have all these useful touch controls, you can touch the left side ones to go down a volume notch and you can touch the right to go up the volume notch.

You can double tap to pause your music. You can hold either button for two seconds to call up Siri. So you can use your voice assistant from the glasses, which is really handy [crosstalk 00:07:31] because you can do things like you can send Cash App through the glasses, [crosstalk 00:07:36] stock price. It's really convenient.

Marcus Norman:

Oh my gosh.

Harrison Gross:

So basically anything you can do with Siri, you can do on the glasses, which is really great for if you're on the go, your pedestrian, cyclist or any of these people that you really shouldn't be taking your phone out, because you're on the road or whatever, you can just have that ability to get that information you need without breaking your focus. And then you have two little speaker vents on the bottom here, and this is basically projects the sound down onto your ear and that's it, e-glasses. This is the first real pair of e-glasses because it is glasses but with tech features.

Marcus Norman:

And when he's talking about the sound y'all, I feel like it's in my head, the sound quality is... But it's not as intrusive, right? So when you're walking around with earplugs in your ear, they may fall out, they may need to be readjusted. The sound quality as if it's almost like the person is standing next to me in the room. And I've been receiving phone calls, it's absolutely phenomenal. And this technology, when I saw it, I had to jump on board and I prayed, prayed, prayed that Mr. Lucyd would come on the show and he did. And tell us how much do they cost? They're actually pretty affordable y'all and we're going to get right back into that.

I call them smart glasses because they really make the experience hands-free but they're not bulky. They're not ugly, they're still fashionable. They're still incredible and they're not heavy duty. So we were just talking about the fashion statement and how Mr. Harrison, his company broke into the industry. Now we are asking the question, how much do they cost? Let's talk about the money.

Harrison Gross:

So the glasses are 149, with polarized sunglass lenses. And then we offer actually a basic prescription upgrade for only $35. So we are pretty much beating everybody on the prescription lens prices. If you go into a LensCrafters or a Target Optical, their lenses are going to start around 75 or a 100. So we make it very affordable to switch over to our product and add a prescription, actually we offer over 25 different custom lenses, we have transitions, bifocals, reading lenses. If you're an old person that wants our glasses, I guess, but we have a full lens lab so we can cut all these prescriptions to order.

And what's great is that most of our custom lens orders are actually shipped in under 24 hours because our lab is super fast. So it's really like a 21st century eyeglass store. It's a full revolution over the kind of experiences you would get going into an optical store in that we have this tech enabled product and we have this full lens lab that's much more affordable than a brick and mortar optical store. So we really do have almost all the angles covered, I would say, in a regular eyewear business, but with these exciting tech features on top of it, I had a, basically a price match with the regular glasses.

Marcus Norman:

That's amazing. See, so it's not breaking the bank y'all and remember he said $75 to start, that's just the lens.

Harrison Gross:

Exactly.

Marcus Norman:

So that's just the lens. So if you're going into Sterling Optical or your local opt... I was going to say dietician, your local optician, you still got to pay for the frames. You've still got to pay for the lenses. You've still got to pay for... He's going to try and sell you on the contacts and then if you want the transitional lenses. That price that he just gave was all inclusive. And the website was completely user-friendly. I was able to go to my optician and get a copy of my prescription and upload it to the website and they did all the work and it came beautifully packaged. So, affordable, stylish, fashionable, and it's tech. Now I'm a techno geek, I'm going to just call myself that, I'm a techno geek, so I love technology. Anything that I can do, I can talk to Siri hands-free, I absolutely love that. And Mr. Harrison and his company is leading the charge. I got to ask a question, this company was started by community. Are you still seeking investors?

Harrison Gross:

Yeah, actually, so we have around on StartEngine a regulation crowdfund, it's open right now. Startengine.com/innoeye, I-N-N-O eye, I'll put it in the chat below. And basically we have a lot of interest so far. We've raised 750K from about 3000 eyewear and early tech adopters, which is really great. And let me put the full link. So that round, we're expecting it to close in the next month. And we're going to hit the cap of what you can legally raise in a regulation crowdfund, which up until a few weeks ago was 1.07 million. But what's really exciting actually is that the government has raised the cap on crowdfunds and now you could raise up to $5 million per year in a crowdfund, which was not possible before. It wasn't even possible in our current crowdfund because when we started, the cap was still 1.07, but now it's like we can community fund this business until the end of time, if we want to, because we can raise 5 million a year, which is plenty to grow, even a big startup that's growing fast.

So it's great. And we love the whole crowdfund aspect. It's just so much more powerful than just having one or two traditional investors because every single one of our investors is also a customer, is also a brand advocate, is an affiliate. And since we're an e-commerce business, it all ties together really closely. And then we just get so much extra momentum from this community that we have. And as soon as we drop a new style, we know that hundreds of people are going to buy it. And we know that people are going to share it all over the web, our affiliates. And so it's makes a much more powerful company in my opinion. And we love StartEngine and I could see us continuing to raise on this platform for basically the rest of the time that we're operating.

Just because now with this 5 million cap, it's like, you could really grow a serious business through the crowd now. And the infrastructure didn't exist a few years ago, even around three, four years ago the crowdfunds were still pretty much restricted to Kickstarters and GoFundMe's where you can't really sell equity.

Marcus Norman:

True.

Harrison Gross:

I think it was in 2015, the crowdfund regulation started again. And basically for the first time in 20 years, you could go get little small investors to join a project because that had been shut off around 2000 and it's just great because you get that huge benefit of having this community at your back, as opposed to just a casual investor, which is impossible to get if you're outside of California anyway, you can't really just walk in... I mean, I'm in Miami, so this is like now only in the last three months, we've seen a bunch of investors come to this city because they want to get out of California. They want to get out of Tex... All these other places that are having a lot of issues in terms of economically and because of the weather and other things… and the ganja.

Harrison Gross:

Yeah, exactly. Well, it's very difficult, California business environment now, Elon Musk is moving to Texa... I mean-

Marcus Norman:

He's leaving.

Harrison Gross:

Yeah. I mean, they still have their huge operation there, but it's not as favorable to business as Florida is.

Marcus Norman:

That's true.

Harrison Gross:

Take what you will, obviously deregulation is a positive in some areas and negative and others, but Florida kind of stands back and lets the businesses do what they need to do, which is why I think a lot of people are coming here and the cost of living is relatively low compared to the quality of life also, which is great.

Marcus Norman:

Absolutely. So I don't want to overshadow this. I don't want y'all to miss this. What Mr. Harrison is talking about y'all is crowdfunding is the ability for people to get in and invest in these companies, he is still a private company, right? Typically, what we're used to and what we're used to hearing about is investing in a company after it's gone on the stock exchange. This is an opportunity to get in on the Amazon, to get in on Tesla, to get in on a startup... I don't want to even want to call you a startup, but get in-

Harrison Gross:

Early stage. Early stage company.

Marcus Norman:

Early stage. To get in and invest in the early stages of this company in the beginning, in the beginning, as a company grows. So that's what we're talking about here. This not a stock exchange traded company. You're not going to get an opportunity to see this company on the stock exchange. So don't think you're going to say, "Well, I'm going to go on Robinhood and I'll just invest that way." No, this is an ability to get in on a ground up.

So if you're kicking yourself and mad at yourself, say, "Man, if I had just got Bitcoin, when it was starting up or when I just got Amazon or eBay or Google when it was just starting out, when the guy was building it in his garage." This is your opportunity. That's what these interviews are about. That's why Mr. Harrison is taking time out of his busy day to allow us the opportunity to get in on this opportunity because it is an opportunity. So there's an investing side and there's a sales side to his business that we all have to consider. And that's why he's throwing out these numbers. And that's why he's speaking on it.

Harrison Gross:

You're very gracious to compare us to Bitcoin by the way, thank you. But it is very exciting and it's more interesting than a Kickstarter or a GoFundMe where you just get the product because you actually get equity in the company. You are an owner of the company when you join this crowdfund. So there's definitely more of a benefit longterm as opposed to joining a Kickstarter or a GoFundMe or something like that, Indiegogo or what have you. And you also can see on our crowdfund page, we do have a lot of great fundamentals. We have a solid full-time team of about seven guys right now. And it's a very exciting time to be an entrepreneur, to be in this sort of startup world, because there are a lot more resources out there than even two or three years ago. I've been in the space for five years now. And the amount of capital that's being raised in small cap companies is growing a lot, which I did not expect during the pandemic. I figured-

Marcus Norman:

Really?

Harrison Gross:

Yeah, I thought investment across the board was going to be going down. But it turns out that, especially in micro-cap and startups, it's going way, way up. And the number of retail investors is increasing by huge amount. Why that is, I'm not really sure, it could be people have more time on their hands. It could be that, it could be a small number of people are doing well during the pandemic for one reason or another. Basically, if you're positioned already in an online business, chances are you're doing pretty well now, as opposed to if you were positioned in a brick and mortar businesses or in a restaurant business, for example, you could be hurting really badly right now. But those of us that were fortunately already set up as online businesses prior to the pandemic, we're in a better position to capitalize on the changing market trends.

Marcus Norman:

That's true. That's true. We have a question from the audience. So I wanted to get the CEO, the man, the myth, the legend himself. So Ms. Shanique Henry asks, "Are the glasses unisex? Do you have male and female?"

Harrison Gross:

So we currently have six styles total and two different shapes. And the round one is a little bit more unisex, I would say. This [inaudible 00:20:50] style Marcus is wearing right now. It's a little bit more of just a classic all around round style. And then we have this Wayfarer style, which is a little bit more masculine and we're planning launching three more styles this summer and another three around Black Friday. So by the end of the year, we hope to have 12 styles available to kind of fit a wider range of users. But in our view, in the coming years, eventually all eyewear will be smart eyewear.

And we really do believe that that is going to happen because as the technology improves further and further, there's going to really be no reason to buy a regular old pair of glasses when you can get a smart glass for the same price. So with that goal in mind, we're looking to eventually have a full line of, let's say 40 or 50 different styles and sizes to accommodate basically everybody. Because eyewear, it's not like a Fitbit, it's a highly specialized product. You wear it on your face. It's an extension of your personality. That's why when you go into the eyewear store, they have 500 different frames. So we only have six now, but that's just the start. And we're hoping to have a lot more out available very soon.

Marcus Norman:

That's incredible. We're going to take another question from the audience, Ms Shenika Tremayne ask the questions, "How do I join?"

Harrison Gross:

So if you want to join the crowdfund, the link is startengine.com/innoeye, I-N-N-O-E-Y-E. There you go. So you can join the crowdfund there. I know it says it's closing in two days, but we're actually extending it for another month. So no rush on that. But one other thing I will mention is if you invest $500, you get a free pair of the glasses as a bonus, and we include your prescription if you have one.

Marcus Norman:

Please, I don't want anybody to run around blind. Please put your prescription up there. I was almost about to do it. I was about to get them without a prescription, but I said, "No, I want to wear these all the time."

Harrison Gross:

Exactly, exactly.

Marcus Norman:

So that makes perfect sense. I'm sorry. Go ahead.

Harrison Gross:

No, no, it's great. And one thing I forgot to mention, you can actually connect them to any device. So you can connect them direct to an Apple Watch when you're out working out and you can play your tunes off your watch. You get a call, you can take it on the glasses. You don't even need to carry your phone. You can connect it directly to a laptop for Zoom calls. This is the big one because no one really talks about Zoom accessories or anything too much.

Marcus Norman:

They don't.

Harrison Gross:

But we found that the glasses connected to a laptop, the sound quality is great on a Zoom and you can get them with the blue light lenses. So you're not wearing your sunglasses while you're taking a work call and it'll protect your eyes and crystal clear audio on the Zoom call as well, which is great.

Especially if you're in [inaudible 00:23:37] work setting, in an office or something like that. When you have the headphones in, you tend to kind of shout a little bit when you're on a call, I'm doing it right now. But when you have the glasses on, you have that feedback from your actual voice, so you know not to talk too loud. So it's really great for just taking those Zoom calls. Especially people like me, I'm on calls all the time. I'm sure you're on calls all the time. You could actually ditch those headphones and just hook up the glasses straight to your computer. I mean, I don't know if you need that super high fidelity while you're recording, but it's really handy on the Zooms. It's just great.

And there's a whole other can of worms I don't really want to open, but we're actually working on a social app too, for voice [crosstalk 00:24:24]. It's called Vyrb, V-Y-R-B. And if you guys check out our crowdfund page, there's some more info about Vyrb there, but it's basically... I wouldn't say it's like Clubhouse. We started working on this way before Clubhouse got popular, but the idea was the human voice is kind of missing from the modern experience online. YouTube and podcasts are really the only place that have a significant amount of voice content. We were thinking like, what's a cool way we can add onto the glasses to add on additional functionality, add on social functionality. So basically we're working on this app.

It's part walkie-talkie where you can kind of walkie-talkie with your friends on the glasses and part just Facebook, but voice content focu... Voice Twitter, I would say is a more accurate description of it. [crosstalk 00:25:17] So instead of just text tweets, you actually have people saying their thoughts and there's different kinds of chats where you can create basically a conversation where your friends can jump into the conversation. And it's just really cool. So we're expecting to have that beta out in July and it's just going to be another awesome feature of the glasses to be able to record your podcasts or your music or whatever kind of audio content you like to make and share it with all these people. And it's just really cool.

Marcus Norman:

Supper cool. I've been freaking out because everybody's looking at me and they're like, "Where's your phone?" And I'm having a full on conversation [inaudible 00:25:58] my glasses, and then in the transitions between music and... Like I said y'all, the transition is crystal clear. It's not staticky, it's not itchy, it's not hard to hear you. Even I look weird because I'm talking and I don't have anything in my ear. What people are now used to is they're used to seeing the iPods in your ear and I'm having a full conversation and I'm just wearing these.

Harrison Gross:

Yeah. And until they see the LED go off, they don't know it's an e-glass usually, which is great.

Marcus Norman:

This is the future y'all. You all are incredible and this is amazing. You mentioned working out, right? You mentioned working out with the glasses. Are they waterproof or water resistant?

Harrison Gross:

They're IP56 splashproof. Which means that they're fine in rain or sweat just don't drop them in the pool and they'll be okay.

Marcus Norman:

Okay. So you can get a little sweat on there. You get a little rain drops here and there, but [crosstalk 00:26:56] don't go dipping with them. Don't-

Harrison Gross:

Yeah. I mean, look, if you're daring, you can take them on the kayak, but I can't promise they'll make it out alive.

Marcus Norman:

I wouldn't, I would not. What sets you apart from your competition? So you mentioned Sterling Optical and America's best glass eyewear. What sets you apart from your competition?

Harrison Gross:

Well, in our view, the real competition would be the Bose frames, which is sort of the most popular out of the very few real products in this space. Obviously, because Bose is a huge billion dollar company and they have much deeper distribution than we do as a young company, but they're our main competition. But when you look at the Bose frames and you look at our glasses, it's immediately clear which one you want to wear because ours just look so much better and they cost a $100 less than the Bose. And don't even get me started on the prescription. But if you want to get a prescription Bose frame, it's going to cost you $375. We do not cost $375 [crosstalk 00:28:06], we're 185 with a prescription. So the cost is much lower.

The style factor is much higher and all of our designs are patented and completely made in house by us, or else no one can just rip them off. And actually the touch controls on our glass are also better than the Bose glass. But ultimately what it really comes down to is the style factor because with eyewear that's number one. And if you have a better looking pair of glasses, no matter what the other pair of glasses does, people are going to go for the better looking pair, just because, like I said, it's on your face. It's hard to get more personal than that. It is really like this key part of your personality, your eyewear choice. In the reviews, in some of our user reviews, we've had people that have had both our product and the Bose product. And that's usually what they mention is that, "The style on the Lyte is just so much better, so that's what I wear because it looks better."

Marcus Norman:

Absolutely. That makes perfect sense. What is your plan for the company? What is your projection for your company?

Harrison Gross:

Well, it's tough to say exactly, but I think we're making a really solid goal of it as a community funded e-commerce business. And I think we're definitely going to continue along that trajectory, but we are also [inaudible 00:29:25] to get into mainstream distribution. Right now we're working on getting the frames into Target Optical and DICK'S Sporting Goods, our two main targets, because we think those two environments are just really well suited to the product. I would like to keep it community funded for as long as possible. And I think ultimately if the company is successful, we will go public at some point.

Marcus Norman:

Absolutely. So Mr. Harrison, I want to thank you, sir. This is incredible. [crosstalk 00:29:54] As we close, what is your favorite way to give back to the community? We keep bringing it up during this conversation. What's your favorite way to give back?

Harrison Gross:

So we actually donate an optical frame for every Lyte that we sell. And so far we've donated, well, under a 1000 frames, I think. We only started this program a few months ago, but after every... We have one moment that was really great, after everything went down this summer with the protests and the energy was just really tough out there. And we wanted to really do something good for the local kids. So we donated a 100 units of our Bluetooth glasses to North Miami High School.

And they were just so thrilled to just get that from a local business and just see that we cared. And it was really a high point for me for the business over the last couple of years, just because they were just so happy and they're like, "Oh, we're going to give these to the kids that are performing well in tests and afterschool programs and stuff. And just having that local impact... As a community funded business, we're all about that. And it was like just really seeing that we were doing something positive and it just felt great.

Marcus Norman:

I love that. I love that. See y'all, so when you invest in a company, you have to dive deep and you're not going to get any deeper than that. A community-based company that believes in its product and believes in the community that supports it. Mr. Harrison, is there any final words you want to leave with my audience? Any way that they can reach out? How can my audience connect, get on board with what you're doing?

Harrison Gross:

Well, you can always reach out to us through the website or @golucyd is our Instagram. And we'd love to hear from you, any suggestions or thoughts or anything, any frame style ideas or anything that you have. Like I said, it all comes from our community, so we'd just be grateful to hear from you.

Marcus Norman:

Absolutely. Thank you Mr. Harrison, for giving back in this way. I appreciate you taking the time out of your schedule.

Harrison Gross:

It's my pleasure.

Marcus Norman:

And thank you all for tuning into the Gentlemen Style Podcast show. Like always, I hope this message has served you. It has definitely served me. I'm going to continue to rock these glasses and if they break, I'm going to get a new pair, but these are the glasses of the future, so hop on board if you're ever considering. You all have asked for alternative investments, Mr. Lucyd, Mr. Harrison, Mr. Lucyd, Mr. Harrison is at the forefront and changing the [crosstalk 00:32:24] absolute eyewear game. Like I always say, I'm going to leave you guys with this, take care of your families. Take care of your homes and take care of business. This is Marcus Norman, the Gentlemen Style Podcast show and Mr. Harrison signing off. Love you guys [crosstalk 00:32:40]. Bye.

Harrison Gross:

Bye everybody.

 

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2 comments

1

1 April 13, 2021

An incredible interview and one of my Top Favorites. Mr. Harrison Gross is amazing and Looking forward to following this movement and growing as Lucyd grows. Staying tuned in for more.

marcus norman March 01, 2021

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