February 21, 2011
Eyeglasses have been around for centuries, but the level of innovation in lenses has been rather slow-going, with incremental progress in the areas of sleek, comfortable frames and thinner, stronger lenses, tints, etc… But those innovations are about to be trumped as Virginia-based PixelOptics has produced emPower which is said to be the world's first “electronic focusing eyeglasses.”
emPower frames look like normal glasses but the lenses have special powers as they tackle an age old problem that bifocal eyeglass wearers have been encountering for years – blurred vision. With bifocals, you have two lenses joined together where one is for reading (at the bottom of the lens) and the other is for normal vision (at the top of the lens). The problem is you always have the reading lens in the way. emPower looks to eliminate the bifocal problem by hiding it when you don't need it. A simple swipe of the frame will activate a liquid crystal in the lens and changes how the lenses bendlight, the same way varied levels of thickness do in regular glasses.
Unfortunately, the price point may keep these lenses out of range for the average aging adult, as the estimated price for a pair of emPower glasses is estimated to be $1,000 to $1,200 which will include frames, lenses, coatings and charger.
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