The world as we know it is literally rapidly changing before our very eyes! Or soon will be! Traditional varifocal spectacles and bifocals, which have been given a hi tech makeover, will be unveiled in the UK in 2011, sporting the latest innovation in prescription glasses.
Before the explosion of striking frame design, colours and shapes in recent years, we have long been aware of the existence of eyeglasses with reactive lenses fitted, which darken according to sunlight intensity. It was only a matter of time before technology would become more seriously involved, so we’re not talking 3D glasses!
The new prescription spectacles are engineered to automatically adjust the optical strength of the lens when a small electrical current passes through them, and by doing so, enables the wearer to easily view objects at different distances!
Up until now, it was only possible to purchase a pair of bifocals lens, consisting simply of two pairs of lenses with two different focal lengths. By being inserted into each separate frame at the same time, the wearer could only focus on either “near” or “far” objects when pointing his eyes downwards, for ‘near’, such as a newspaper, or upward for ‘far’, e.g. television.
The new electronic lenses can activate a range of in-between settings to automatically adjust the viewing of objects at different distances by the manual pressing of a button on the side of the frames.
Motion sensors, similar to those used in the iPhone, are hidden inside the frames, allowing the focal length to also change automatically when they detect the wearer alters point of focus, e.g. from close up reading to long distance viewing.
The principle of how the focal length changes is similar to how an LCD TV screen uses a layer of liquid crystal sandwiched in between each lens. However, with the spectacles, the refractive index alters when the electrical charge is applied, which adapts the focal length according to where the wearer is looking.
The breakthrough in reading glasses is almost certain to attract widespread interest and the new self adjusting prescription spectacles will no doubt be available as soon as they are launched as both men’s glasses and ladies glasses to buy at an online opticians.
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