Self Adjusting Eyewear Replaces Bifocals
Rechargeable Electronic Glasses with LCD Features
Electronic eyeglasses http://money.cnn.com/2011/04/19/smallbusiness/pixeloptics_electronic_eyeglasses/index.htm are a new alternative to bifocals. They use a liquid crystal to change focus from near to far, and can be programmed to switch to near-vision when people look down, or can be switched to the alternate focus with a simple touch. Initial pricing for the glasses starts at over $1000 per pair, which reflects the cost of the technology (rechargeable batteries and liquid crystal inside an eyeglass prescription) and the new nature of the glasses themselves. Over time, the price of electronic glasses would be expected to go down as the cost of manufacturing and distribution is reduced. Currently the main manufacturer of electronic eyeglasses is PixelOptics, and they are expected to hit the market in June of 2011. Bifocal lenses, first invented by Benjamin Franklin, are designed as a solution for presbyopia, or the diminished ability for eyes to focus on nearby objects. This mostly happens to people as they get older, potentially because the lens of the eye loses elasticity. Although it is harder to see near objects, this does not mean that nearsightedness is diminished since the shape of the lens does not change.
Notes and Special Information
Special note: Electronic eyeglasses require recharging though they can stay charged for up to 3 days, but extreme heat, cold, and corrosive environments may change the functionality of these lenses.