If you wear glasses you probably have microfiber cleaning cloths stashed all-around your home because like death and taxes, your lenses getting dirty is inevitable. But why spend half your day rubbing dust and grease away when you can drop your specs into the LensHD and let the tiny washing machine do all the hard work for you?
The LensHD is reminiscent of the Cardlax, a similar automated cleaning device that rids wireless earbuds of earwax and all the other nastiness they pick up while stuffed in your ears. Cleaning wax and gunk off of earbuds is definitely a more awful chore than buffing spots and fingerprints off a pair of glasses, but it’s a chore nonetheless, and one that can be finally outsourced to the machines.
Inside the LensHD are a set of four soft blade-shaped sponges wrapped in microfiber cloth that each spin in a slightly offset rotation to increase the coverage area. Misting the sponges with a glasses cleaner before a cleaning improves their ability to lift greasy fingerprints (it’s not mandatory, but anyone with glasses knows it makes the process easier and more effective) but otherwise using the LensHD is as easy as placing a pair of specs inside and closing the machine, at which point the four sponges get to work, simultaneously cleaning both sides of each lens.
The machine isn’t as portable as a microfiber cloth in your pocket (or just using the shirt you’re wearing) and it’s powered by a USB-C cable instead of rechargeable batteries, although you can always pair it with a portable power source if mobility is your priority. Specifics on how long a cleaning takes aren’t mentioned, but by wiping both sides of both lenses all at the same time, it’s almost certainly faster than cleaning your specs by hand. As for compatibility, the team behind the LensHD claims they’ve tested it with 100 different types and styles of glasses, so unless you wear especially unique or large frames, they should be compatible.
As with the Cardlax earbuds cleaner, the creators of the LensHD (who were originally part of the team responsible for the Cardlax) have opted for a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to help bring their creation to consumers. But with a funding goal of just $1,000, it seems like they’re using Kickstarter more as a pre-order platform, than a way to raise enough funds to put the LensHD into production. The cheapest pre-order option with a November 2021 delivery is listed at $79, although the full retail price will probably be much higher than that.
Despite the fact the creators of the LensHD are “...ready to go into production, with sourced materials and a confirmed schedule with our reliable manufacturer locked down,” there’s still good reason to be cautious about any crowdfunded product, especially with a pandemic still underway all around the world that has made it difficult for even larger companies to get a product into consumers’ hands. If you do pre-order the LensHD, take that November delivery date with a grain of salt—or a heaping spoonful.