If a person develops a so-called old-age vision in old age and is also short-sighted, a progressive vision goggle is prescribed. The special glasses compensate for both deficits, because they are divided into zones, which allow a smooth transition from wide to near objects. This was an extreme revolution a few years ago, because before that you had to change the glasses, depending on what you were doing. Researchers from the University of Utah are now coming to the next revolution: lenses with autofocus for continuous sharpness.
If you like, the glasses are smart glasses, because they automatically focus on where the wearer is just looking – whether it’s close or far away. The special glasses are made of glycerin, a viscid transparent substance surrounded by two membranes.
But there is also the mechanical part, because great glasses are not enough for the fun. The two glycerin lenses are then inserted into a special spectacle frame in which the mechanism is the actual stripper behind the smart spectacles. It is responsible for the different focal lengths, because by a slight pull or pressure on the lenses, they deform.
Now, of course, the question arises, whence the glasses know, whether they must pull or push? In addition, an infrared sensor is installed in the spectacle frame which measures the distance to the objects that the wearer is looking at. The sensor then forwards this information to the mechanics, which then deforms the viscous glycerin lenses. So you are very much oriented to the human eye, because in principle our lens works the same way.
Until now, the smart glasses is only a prototype, but it demonstrates well what is possible with this technology. Already, the system can focus the lenses within 14 milliseconds. Although the current prototype is not yet a prototype, it looks a bit chunky, but you are already working on a lighter, slimmer and more fashionable version. This should then also have eye tracking and depth measurement in order to allow the technology to work even more accurately. In two to three years the glasses with autofocus could already be on the market. The price then probably moves in a price range of 500 to 1,000 dollars.