Electronic glasses will replace bifocal lenses

Soon, Americans who need bifocals or progressive lenses could get a new view on life. In June this year, PixelOptix from Roamoke City, Virginia, plans to introduce a line of electronic glasses, called emPower, which allow carriers to switch from reading dioptric to the distance vision.

The technology used for these glasses is similar to that of the iPod. The lenses are equipped with a thin layer of liquid crystals put between two layers of plastic material. Zapped by electric shock, the crystals change the alignment and consequently the way light is reflected.

To enable this shift, all that is needed is a bow or pressing a button. The switching function will work for two – three days, and battery charging time is approximately 6-8 hours.

EmPower sunglasses were created to replace the bifocal ones, which have some negative aspects. The reading portion of the bifocal lens can blur distant objects at more than an arm’s length, thus distorting the image. In 2010, more than 20 million pairs of glasses with progressive lenses and almost 16 million bifocal glasses were sold in the U.S.

This new model of glasses, which have been in the works for more than 12 years and included 175 patents, will be publicly available starting this summer.

The cost of such pairs will be quite high, somewhere between 1,000 and 1,250 dollars. Price will include frames, lenses and their treatment, as well as the charger.