For most people, presbyopia is something inevitable to suffer at some point in life, especially after the age of 45. This is due to the fact that from this age the eyes lose elasticity, which prevents them from being able to focus on close objects. The solution? For some, reading glasses are enough, but others are not so lucky, for them the only solution is to undergo surgery or use progressive lenses.
According to Stanford University electrical engineer Gordon Wetzstein, he says about what, for now, is only a prototype of smart glasses:
“More than a billion people have presbyopia.and we, have created a pair of self-focal lenses that could one day correct their vision much more effectively than traditional glasses.”
Smart glasses that work like eyes
Prototype glasses (called auto focal) seek to solve the major problem of today’s progressive lenses. Since they require the user to align his or her head in order to focus correctly. According to graduate student Robert Konrad, co-author of a paper on the autofocal glasses published in the journal Science Advances:
“People who wear progressive lenses have a higher risk of falling and injuring themselves.”
So, this prototype works much like the lens of the eye (crystalline lens), with fluid-filled lenses that bulge and thin as the field of view changes.
In addition, it includes eye-tracking sensors that triangulate where a person is looking, to ultimately determine the precise distance to the object being observed.
You should know that these virtual reality glasses were not invented by the engineering team itself. What they developed was software that leverages eye-tracking data to keep the liquid-filled lenses in constant, perfect focus.
Apparently, other researchers and developers have previously attempted to apply autofocus lenses to presbyopia. But, without the guidance of eye-tracking system hardware and software, those efforts did not solve the problem of normal progressive lenses.
the prototype has already been tested on 56 people who reported that they performed much better at reading and other tasks. So, the next step will be to reduce the size of this device, something that may take a few years, according to its developer. However, he claims that autofocals are the future of vision correction.
He further added that:
“This technology could affect the lives of billions of people in a way that most techno-gadgets will never achieve.”