Gizmos & Gadgets: New Smart Glasses May Mean Never Having to Change Your Prescription Lenses

April 2, 2017 – The prototype isn’t pretty to look at, but the idea of reading and longer vision glasses that adjust their focus is appealing to someone like me who wears progressive lenses. At my age, I have glasses for my computer, and several other pairs designed to let me both read and drive. That’s because I, like millions around the world suffer from aging stiffened lenses.

Researchers at University of Utah believe they may have discovered a remedy, liquid lenses that automatically adjust their focus. States Carlos Mastrangelo, Professor of  Electrical and Computer Engineering, “the major advantage of these smart eyeglasses is that once a person puts them on, the objects in front of the person always show clear, no matter at what distance the object is.”

The secret to these lenses is they are made of glycerin enclosed in a flexible membrane. The frame for the lenses includes a distance meter that uses infrared light to measure the distance from the wearer to the object being viewed. It automatically adjusts the curve of the lens in 14 milliseconds.

The smart glasses include a smartphone Bluetooth app used to calibrate the lenses to the eyeglass prescription of the wearer. When the wearer gets a new prescription he or she can input the information into the app.

The prototype, which you can see below, is far from being fashionable. Mastrangelo notes that the styling needs much improvement and the weight of the glasses and thickness of the frames will need to be reduced before the product will be available to consumers. He thinks the timeline to commercialization will be two to three years.




Professor Carlos Mastrangelo tries on a pair of smart glasses. Photo credit: University of Utah





Len Rosen lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is a researcher and writer who has a fascination with science and technology. He is married with a daughter who works in radio, and a miniature red poodle who is his daily companion on walks of discovery. More...