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Smart Glasses Always Keeping You in Focus

Photo Credit: Robert Konrad/Stanford

These frames don’t just look smart, they ARE smart.

Presbyopia may not be a word that we are all commonly familiar with, but it is something that many of us begin to experience around the age of 45. This is when the lenses in our eyes lose the elasticity needed to focus on nearby objects. People that wear progressive lenses typically have a higher risk of falling due to the blurred vision when not being center-focused.

Most people will pick up a cheap pair of reading glasses at their local drug store, while many others who don’t elect to have surgery will need to start wearing progressive lenses. Have no fear, new lenses are in the works for the over one billion people who suffer from presbyopia.

A new pair of autofocal lenses are being created that will do more for our vision than any kind of traditional glasses. The prototype glasses developed by electrical engineer Gordon Wetzstein will grant wearers complete focus no matter where they turn their head or move their eyes.

The prototype glasses try to simulate the fluid-filled lenses of the eye that bulge and thin as the field of vision changes. It includes eye-tracking sensors that focus on where the person is looking and determine the exact distance of interest.

A test group was formed of 56 people with presbyopia. They reported that the lenses performed better and faster at reading and other tasks. They also felt that the glasses were more comfortable to wear. But, they still have work to do to make it even lighter, energy-efficient, and stylish.