Friday, May 6, 2011

Cool Technology of the Week

As a glasses wearer for over 40 years, I've been an active user of many lens "technologies"   Now that I'm nearly 50, I wear progressive lenses which ease my eye strain during screen time and close up work.

However, there is an issue - when I look down, I lose my distance vision.   My prescription is -7 diopters so I cannot easily switch between two pairs of glasses, one for distance and one for closeup.   An ideal bifocal would enable me to change the  my glasses prescription in real time.

That's now possible with the PixelOptics electronic lens built with liquid crystal technology.

The lenses are made by Panasonic and change prescription on command, either via head movement or by activating a switch.

The hold a charge for 3 days.

Currently, they cost about $1000, but I expect that to come down as demand causes manufacturing scale to expand.

Glasses that change prescription on the fly.  That's cool!


Anonymous said...

That is cool. After 20/20 vision until my 40's and then progressive lens primarily for reading, I am trying mono vision contacts. i would like intermediate for computer and at times only readers for closeup. Then I'd like distance when driving. If the glasses could also adjust each lens they could work well for me with the mono contacts. The mono vision contacts allow good walking around vision, but I still need readers for computer and closeup vision. My overall distance vision is still + and LASIK isn't my best option. Ultimately I will have surical lens replacement in my mid 50s the eye surgeon said.

Mattpenning said...

Miniaturaize that tech and I'm there! Currently they look like the ultimate nerd/geek glasses, which fit my personality but not my esthetic preference.

I'll be on the lookout for those in a year or so.

Steve Locke said...

I use monovision by having one contact lens (CL) undercorrected by 1.5 diopters, so that I use my left eye for reading and my right eye for driving. But I end up with neither great distance vision nor great reading vision. I used to wear both distance CLs for golf, flyfishing, skiing, etc., but if I have to tie a knot or read a ski map, I have to use reading glasses. What a pain. So I had a pair of glasses made for reading that had a 1.5 diopter reduction of my right eye prescription with plane glass (plano) in the left eye. That gave me excellent reading vision. Then I also have a pair of sunglasses with the opposite configuration so that I have my monovision undercorrection in the near vision eye corrected to 20/20 with a 1.5 diopter addition to the undercorrected CL. This is great for fishing, golf, skiing, etc. And if I need near vision to read or close focus, I just push them up on my forehead and I am back to monovision. It was an expensive solution (plus I immediately lost one pair and had to replace them). So the innovation of the Panasonic glasses are a wash for me at $1000. But I now suppress my early adopter habits (due to the usual garage filled with obsolete technology) and so I'll wait for my $500 price point. Thanks, John.

Shakabrah said...

This should help aphakic students take exams without making stupid errors, which I suspect are due to the distortion of the progressive lenses? Will probably order two pairs: one to wear with contacts and the other without contacts. Hopefully, they come with AR and Transition features?