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Adujstable Focus Lenses Provides Low-Cost, Low-Tech Solution in Developing Countries

Adujstable Focus Lenses Provides Low-Cost, Low-Tech Solution in Developing Countries
Design

Adlens adjustable-focus glasses change prescription with the turn of a dial.

Sean Leow
  • 25 september 2009

Anyone with bad vision knows how debilitating and unproductive it can be to live without glasses or contact lenses. Now imagine multiplying that lack of productivity across entire communities in developing countries where over 1 billion people need, but lack access to eyeglasses.

Adlens tackles this problem head-on by offering a low-tech, low-cost solution.  Adjustable-focus glasses can be easily matched to thousands of different prescription combinations in a few minutes without the need for equipment or trained personnel.  The secret to the Adlens technology is a fluid-filled lens that changes with the turn of a dial. The lens is a hollow chamber with a clear plastic sheet stretched across inside. The highly refractive fluid is pumped into or out of the chamber to change the curvature of the plastic sheet inside.

Adlens currently has two products: Adlens Universals, which can be one-time adjusted to set in place and the Adlens Readers that remain adjustable throughout their lifecycle. In 2008, Adlens Beacon licensed the technology and has been testing the social marketing potential in Ghana. On the non-profit side, Adaptive Eyewear, works closely with Adlens to deploy the technology to underserved populations in the developing world.

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