World's first electronic glasses to replace bifocals

World's first electronic glasses to replace bifocals

A company has developed electronic spectacles that promise to allow bifocal wearers to switch between different prescription settings for reading and more distant viewing. Part of a new line of electronic eye glasses called emPower, the lenses contain a thin layer of liquid crystal that changes its alignment when prompted, thereby changing the strength of focus.

People who wear bifocal glasses know all about how the distorted view they get when looking downwards at the ground, reports the Daily Mail. All the emPower wearer needs to do is tilt his head downward or manually touch the frame and the reading prescription is activated - and vice versa.

emPower manufacturer PixelOptics promises the new glasses will be "fabricated in all prescriptions... and will be available in numerous high-fashion styles, shapes, sizes and colours".

The glasses were unveiled last month during the International Vision Expo East in New York and are set for a US release this summer. Each eight-hour battery charge allows for two-to-three days of switching between focus settings.

The frames have three settings - automatic, manual on and manual off - allowing the wearer to remain fully in control. One potential drawback is their cost - a pair will set you back between $1,000 (606 pounds) and $2,060 (1,250 pounds), although that includes the frames, lenses, coatings and charger.

PixelOptics has been developing its emPower glasses for 12 years and has filed 275 patents in the US during the process.