An engineer in Utah has created a pair of smart glasses, which are actually designed as traditional eyeglasses, rather than technology enhancements
Carlos Mastrangelo, himself a sufferer of vision problems, became frustrated at having to take his glasses on and off as circumstances dictated. He mentions driving and reading as the two most obvious activities, and points out that the technology for eyeglasses hasn’t been improved since Benjamin Franklin; as a result, he sought to create a pair of glasses that he would never have to remove.
His solution, which was on display at CES, is a set of eyeglasses that have liquid lenses and will adjust to whatever the user is looking at. A sensor, built into the frame, measures the distance between what’s being looked at and the lenses. The liquid lens then adjusts itself based on that calculation, essentially changing the magnification and angle, using the curvature of the glasses themselves.
This means that wearers can keep their glasses on in all circumstances, and through the liquid lens technology, prescriptions can be adjusted automatically rather than having to replace eyeglasses consistently.
Although the styling is fairly chunky, Mastrangelo and his team are already working on more streamlined versions, and faster-acting lenses; although the first generation takes only 14 ms to conduct an adjustment.
The cost will be higher than traditional eyeglasses but Mastrangelo points to long-term savings and additional benefits for older users who will not have to carry around different sets of glasses.
There will be a significant wait, however, with the first set of glasses not expected to be on sale for 2 to 3 years. However, it may be that the days of traditional eyeglasses are numbered as liquid lenses have the potential to be adapted into contact lenses, and even surgery based solutions for extreme sufferers of vision impairment.