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Virginia Company Creates Dynamic Eyeglasses 39

tetrahedrassface writes "NewScientistTech is reporting that newly developed 'smart glasses' can change focus instantly from long distance to reading mode. The dynamic glasses change focus using a 5-micron-thick layer of nematic liquid crystal, sandwiched between two pieces of glass, and will be commercially available in 2 years by PixalOptics."
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Virginia Company Creates Dynamic Eyeglasses

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  • Lasers (Score:3, Insightful)

    by olego ( 899338 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @06:04PM (#15062160) Homepage
    "The idea is to put the focusing power found in the lens of a camera on your face all the time."

    That means that the glasses would also require batteries, and would need recharging, and would be heavy at first. Sounds a bit too much.
    • Re:Lasers (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @07:04PM (#15062543)
      That means that the glasses would also require batteries, and would need recharging, and would be heavy at first. Sounds a bit too much.

      Aligning liquid crystals doesn't take much power. How long does the battery on a digital watch with LCD screen last? Years. How big is the battery? Tiny.
    • Think about how small Bluetooth headsets are already.. even thoug glasses would still have to have some sort of attachment, or maybe just be a bit thicker in the framework. I really don't see this as a big problem.. but that might be because I don't use glasses myself :/

    • That means that the glasses would also require batteries, and would need recharging, and would be heavy at first. Sounds a bit too much.
      You must be under 40, right? I'd add the weight if these things worked...
  • by jcr ( 53032 )
    I'm all over that. What a freaking brilliant invention.

    -jcr
  • Coke bottles... (Score:1, Redundant)

    by creimer ( 824291 )
    Even the Coke bottle glasses are getting a new technological update these days. Used to be you could tell a geek by the thickness of his glasses.
  • I see two problems with using a switch to change distance viewing. The first is, of course, that it's not totally convient. The second is that it limits the possible viewing distances. This doesn't seem a problem to people without glasses, or at worst bifocals, but I know someone who needs trifocals. Why not wait a bit on this technology until they can take a picture of your eyes to see how far away the focal distance is and get a perfect focus?
    • Why not wait a bit on this technology until they can take a picture of your eyes to see how far away the focal distance is and get a perfect focus?

      For the ultimate in lazy, the Ultrafoci Glasses(tm) are perfect for you!

      Tired of focusing your eyes? We'll do it for you!
    • As far as limiting the possible viewing distances goes, it's not really a big issue. Most people who wear bifocals do it because they can't accommodate anymore - the crystalline lens in the eye can't change its shape like it used to. Normally, when you want to look at something at near, your lens gets more curved, adding more dioptric power to the eye so that the image stays in focus; as you get older, the lens gets denser and less flexible and you can't accommodate anymore.

      Now, that doesn't mean that when
  • cool (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MikeFM ( 12491 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @06:10PM (#15062208) Homepage Journal
    I've wondered why they didn't do this before. It's cool that they finally are. It'll be great when these measure the eye and adjust focus automatically to where you're trying to look and to correct your vision as it changes over time. I imagine the electronics should be pretty easy to scale down as I can't think of any reason why these would be very complicated. Battery life shouldn't be to big a deal. I wonder if they could be kept charged by the user's motion between full recharges.
    • I've been wondering when somebody would come up with dynamic lenses too. A friend of mine is a scanhead engineer for a medical ultrasound company. Scanheads tend to focus on a specific distance, so the image you get is sort of like a single slice of a CAT scan. For years I've been trying to get him interested in designing a scanhead that dynamically slides back and forth through a range of shapes and frequencies. If you integrated the data from the scans you could come up with a 3-d image of live tissue tha

  • These pair of babies will make you the geekest of all times, including the tronguy [tronguy.net]
  • by Quaoar ( 614366 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @06:30PM (#15062342)
    ...driving while reading slightly less dangerous...

    Slightly...
  • Do they come with a handle on the bridge to push them up with, or do you still have to find an aftermarket dealer?








    Oooooooo, the new phonebooks are here!
    • It'll be a whole new market for the iPod accessory manufacturers.
    • Do they come with a handle on the bridge to push them up with, or do you still have to find an aftermarket dealer?

      Unfortunately, that's where the laser beam goes so the aftermarket may be out of luck. From the article: These will most probably use an infrared laser built into the bridge of the glasses At least they know enough to use infrared instead of visible lest the wearer go cross-eyed.


  •   (At least, I think it was Dutch...)

      The idea was to make adjustable (but NOT self-adjusting) glasses
      that could be fitted to anyone.

      I prefer a "general" & "generally affordable" solution -over-
      a "cool" one that poops out when its batteries die...

      My 2 cents (if a bit OT)
  • Holy cow! (Score:5, Funny)

    by The Ultimate Fartkno ( 756456 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @10:48PM (#15063606)
    One of the guys in charge of this project used to be my optometrist! I know that that doesn't add the slightest bit of insight to the story, but it's still pretty sweet to be able to say "Hey! Slashdot! The dude you're reading about has had his finger in my eye and used the 'big poof of air to the eyeball' weapon on me!"

    Okay, so sue me. I haven't had mod points in a while and I need validation...
  • But are they peri sensitive ???
  • Why the hell isn't this a "front page" article? I mean, holy shit, that's amazing!
  • Does it come with... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dark Coder ( 66759 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @10:36AM (#15066946)
    All the cool cinematic field and zooming trick?

    Nothing like hooking up a special-effect bud earphone and biofeedback probes with it and watch all the everyday items with increased intensity... such as:

    1. Love of your life.... Optical background scene zooms in but subject matter stays the same size, with slow tempo and increased aria/choral music followed by your silent soft heart thumping sound.

    2. Fear... Refractoral angular re-zoom (without moving your eyes) in on the hazards coupled with Jaws themes

    3. Anxiety... Quirky and continual focusing lens motion couple with the rushing din of noises.

    4. Calm... Added downward microstreaking of lens to simulate rain coupled with waterfall background.

    Far-fetched? Perhaps not much sooner than later...
  • Nothing says Chick Magnet better than these babies!!!
  • I have a vague memory of a Popular Science article ages ago that described variable-focus eyeglasses. They did it with two lenses and a chamber between them - a slider on the eyeglass temple controlled a piston that forced clear liquid into the chamber, changing the shape of the lens assembly.

    The liquid crystal approach is a lot slicker!
  • This is OK as long as when the battery dies you are stuck with long distance vision by default. Otherwise there could be some problems.

    I can see it now, some poor schlub is flying down the freeway, the batteries die and all he can see is everything three feet in front of him and CRASH!

    Driver: "Sorry officer, the batteries in my glasses died and I couldn't see."
    Officer: "Batteries... in glasses???? Ok, arms out to your sides, stand on one foot and touch your nose."

If you can't understand it, it is intuitively obvious.

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