These photochromic lenses change faster than you can say photochromic

Juci-e seeks crowdfunding for its innovative sunnies

Photochromatic lenses have been around for some time and are great for rides where the light changes gradually, such as dawn/dusk missions. However, they can struggle to keep up with fast changes in contrasting light, and even the quickest of the lenses can take the better part of a minute to darken and then up to 15 minutes to clear back up.

French startup Juic-e may have solved this problem with a new lens technology that claims to fully swap in .01 of a second. However, the brand says it has slowed the process down 0.8 of a second “for physiological reasons related to the human eye and to avoid stroboscopic effects.”

The Spic-e T sunnies' lenses also change colour from a light yellow/orange to a dark brown, which the brand says also improves contrast.  

I can see the quick change being especially useful in a high-contrast environment such as singletrack, which winds in and out of trees, or during late afternoon where going from long shadows to full sun can have quite a dazzling effect.

If you watch to the end (past the rendered lenses) you can actually see the lens change. Even in slow motion it's fast

Juic-e is not the first brand to develop something like this, Uvex released its Variotronic S lenses, which also boast a 0.1 second charge time, but this reaction is powered by an electric charge that requires an internal battery — and this needs to be recharged and uses a button to activate the change.

Juic-e on the other hand has worked out how to facilitate these changes in the tint without a battery and its system is completely automatic, reacting to the light conditions in your environment.

The glasses are quite ‘euro’ in appearance and consist of the battery free ‘eletrochromatic shield’ that appears to be two lenses bonded together, and a photochromic sensor which is built into the nosepiece.

Juic-e also says its sensor is sensitive to luminosity through the entire light spectrum, rather than just UV like most standard photochromic lenses.

Not only do these sunnies change back and forth in less then a second, they don't need a battery and it's all automatic
Not only do these sunnies change back and forth in less then a second, they don't need a battery and it's all automatic

When a normal photochromic lens changes tint it undergoes a thermal process, and hot weather can prevent the lens darkening all the way. Conversely, in the cold, they can also take longer to fade back to clear. Juic-e says its new lenses are completely unaffected by temperature at either extreme.

Unfortunately, as with most new technology, the Spic-e T sunnies cost an arm and a leg and are set to retail for €390. But for the early adopters, there are early special offers to be had.

Colin Levitch

Staff Writer, Australia
Originally from Denver, Colorado, Colin now resides in Sydney, Australia. Holding a media degree, Colin is focused on the adventure sport media world. Coming from a ski background, his former European pro father convinced him to try collegiate crit racing. Although his bright socks say full roadie, he enjoys the occasional mountain bike ride, too.
  • Discipline: Road, mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Tarmac mountain climbs into snow-covered hills
  • Current Bikes: BMC TeamMachine SLR01, Trek Top Fuel 9
  • Dream Bike: Mosaic Cycles RT-1
  • Beer of Choice: New Belgium La Folie
  • Location: Sydney, Australia

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