We haven’t seen too many innovations in the area of prescription glasses in recent times on Springwise, aside from ethical ideas such as Warby Parker’s buy one, donate one scheme. Claiming to have developed the “biggest optical advance in over 50 years,” however, PixelOptics has launched its emPower! range of spectacles, featuring electronically-powered instant focus switching.
Each pair of glasses features a layer of liquid crystals inside the lenses, which provides near focus and can be activated when the wearer needs to see objects close up. Embedded into the arms of the frames is a touch-sensitive switch that activates and deactivates the near focus setting upon a touch. Alternatively, when the pad is swiped with the finger, the glasses are set to automatic mode, meaning that the frames respond to downward head movements in order to switch to near focus for activities such as reading. PixelOptics aims to replace the need for progressive bi-focal lenses – which require the wearer to look through the right part of the lens for distance and close-up vision. The glasses require power to operate and come with a charger that can provide enough battery life for two to three days per charge.
PixelOptics says that the emPower! range is the first to introduce digital technology into everyday spectacles. Other entrepreneurs, is there an opportunity here to combine this technology with photochromic lenses? Or how else could prescription glasses be made more versatile?