Once in a while, wonderful blockbuster devices make their way into our lives..smartphones, iPads to name a few. And now… electronic eyeglasses are about to make its bow.
These glasses will be a major boon for those hitting their 40s, the time when longsightedness sets in. The usual remedy is to use bifocal lenses or no-line progressive lenses. But such glasses have a drawback: the lenses that magnify fine print also blur objects more than an arm’s length away when a wearer looks down, distorting the view when on a staircase, for example, or when swinging at a golf ball.
Enter the emPower glasses – spectacles with an unusual insert in the bottom part of the lenses: liquid crystals, cousins to the familiar ones in LCD television displays. The crystals change how the lenses refract or bend light, just as varying levels of thickness do in traditional glasses. To call up reading power in the new glasses, users touch the side of the frame. Batteries in the frame send along a current that changes the orientation of molecules in the crystals. Touch the side of the frame again, and the reading power disappears. Turn it off to hit a golf ball; turn it on to read the scorecard.
Because they use batteries, they need to be recharged, in the same way as smartphones. Each charge lasts 2-3 days.
The glasses, made by PixelOptics in Roanoke, Virginia,USA, will be on the market in a few months.
The cost? about US$1,000 to $1,200, including frames, lenses, coatings and charger. Not one for those who keep losing their glasses!