New Smart Glasses Adapt To Your Eyes

On average, four out of ten people in the western world suffer from some form of vision impairment, like myopia or astigmatism, which are the most common. In the United States alone, 9.6 million people suffer from myopia. In most cases, those eyesight issues havecome as a result of worn out eye lenses due to old age or some other reason, resulting in myopia (short-sightedness) or hypermetropia (long-sightedness).

For years now, spectacles, also known as bifocals, have been able to treat and reverse these conditions restoring normal eyesight to those affected. The only drawback, however, is that normal spectacles only serve their purpose as of that time the user requires them, making them quite useless outside that use.

Recently, however, researchers from the University of Utah with sponsorhip by Zenni Optical, have come up with a full-proof way of treating myopia and hypermetropia permanently. This team of post graduate students, led by Dr. Carlos H. Mastrangelo and Nazmul Hasan, have been conducting this kind of research for the past 2 years. They have come up with smart glasses, which automatically adjust and adapt to your eyes. So if you are short-sighted or long-sighted, these special glasses are able to adapt to your specific needs correcting your vision depending on what your eyes are focusing on at that particular time. 

The Concept Behind The Smart Glasses

For this concept of smart glasses to be realized, special type of flexible lenses have been developed along with a pair of piezoelectric pistons, which work hand-in-hand with the lenses. The lenses themselves consist of two separate membranes that enclose glycerol in between them. 

Due to the special properties of glycerol as a refractive fluid, the combination of membranes and the liquid itself make up the flexible lenses. The lenses are directly connected to the piezoelectric pistons, whose main purpose is to change the curvature of the lenses, thereby achieving the smart auto-focus feature. 

How The Smart Glasses Work

As established, the work of the piezoelectric pistons is to alter the curvature of the lenses. To do this, the pistons need to be connected to a voltage source; that is why a small battery is placed inside one stem of the glasses. In the other stem, a microcontroller, which performs certain calculations is the one that determines just how much voltage is required to be released to the pistons. 

The action of the microcontroller is made possible by two variables: the eye prescription of the patient and the distance between the wearer and the object being focused on. The distance between the glasses and the object of focus is measured by a sensor located at the bridge of the glasses by means of infrared signals. 

When the two parameters are determined, the microcontroller, with the help of a stored algorithm calculates the voltage required to be passed through the pistons, which in turn change the shape of the lenses taking up a concave shape or a convex shape. These smart glasses need not be removed by the wearer due to their unique function capabilities. They are pretty much the next best thing, and might even replace bifocals permanently once they pass the testing phase. 

As far as inputting the patient’s prescription goes, the smart glasses come with a fully-functional mobile application that allows that process possible. That also means that any change to the prescription can be uploaded directly to the glasses, allowing the user to use them for longer periods of time. There is still plenty of work to be done before these smart glasses are made officially available, but once that gets through, you won’t have to deal with bifocals any longer. 

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