Auto-focus smart glasses with liquid lenses

  • Smart liquid lenses that auto-focus on whatever the wearer is looking at, far away or close up. Image credit: University of Utah
  • The actuator sensors controls the curvature of the liquid lens and the focal length. Image credit: University of Utah
  • Professor Carlos Mastrangelo with student Nazmul Hasan test the smart autofocus eyeglasses Image credit: University of Utah
Date:18 April 2017 Author: Jorika Moore Tags:, , ,

These smart glasses aren’t particularly the most fashionable, but what they lack in style – they compensate for in smart design.

Degradation of vision is common in everyone and one person’s glasses won’t necessarily work for someone else. Scientists at the University of Utah have developed an affordable solution that addresses both concerns – a pair of smart glasses that can be adjusted to meet anyone’s visual needs.

How does these auto-focus adjustable liquid lenses work? The adaptive lenses consists of flexible rubber-like membranes filled with glycerin. A distance sensor in the bridge of the glasses’ frame uses infrared light sensors to determine the distance between the lenses and object of interest. The three mechanical actuators adjust the curvature of the liquid lens and the focal length between the lens and the eye for a clear view.

The liquid lenses in these glasses automatically bring the object your looking at into focus in just 14 milliseconds. The frame holds the 24-hour rechargeable battery to power the autofocusing system based on distance and a vision corrective prescription stored in nonvolatile memory.

You can adjust to any prescription with the smartphone app, which then calibrates the lenses automatically via Bluetooth connection. As your prescription changes over time, you will need to load this data.

The prototype auto-focus eyeglasses need adjustments before they’re ready for global use. The team is working on reducing the glasses weight and improving on the design and style.  A revised version of the glasses will include eye tracking and a depth camera to ensure a more accurate lens reading.

The futuristic glasses holds the potential for a single set of glasses to last you a lifetime and could be available in the next two to three years.

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