Developed at the University of Utah, the liquid-based lenses can change their curvature based on the distance of objects

A team from the University of Utah led by electrical and computer engineering professor Carlos Mastrangelo and doctoral student Nazmul Hasan has developed a pair of smart glasses that automatically adjust the focus depending on what which direction the wearing is looking.

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They contain liquid-based lenses that change their curvature to make objects clearer regardless of whether they are close up or far away. The lenses are made of glycerin and enclosed by flexible membranes, giving them a low profile and making them lightweight.

These lenses have been placed in special frames invented by the team. In the bridge is a distance meter, which measures how far away objects are via pulses of infrared light and tells actuators how to curve the lenses. If a closer object is spotted, the distance meter readjusts and tells the actuators to reshape the lens for farsightedness. They can change focus from one object to another in just 14 milliseconds. Mastrangelo said in a press release:

“Most people who get reading glasses have to put them on and take them off all the time. You don’t have to do that anymore. You put these on and it’s always clear.”

The wearer would be able to input their prescription into an accompanying smartphone app, which automatically calibrates the lenses via Bluetooth. They can update the details if their prescription changes over time, and wouldn’t need to purchase another pair of glasses again if they didn’t want to, as the glasses would be able to constantly adjust to their changing eyesight.

The team has built a working prototype, which they displayed at CES, but aim to keep improving the design to make them smaller and lighter. A startup company, Sharpeyes LLC, has been created to commercialize the smart glasses and a pair could be released within the next three years.

University of Utah

A team from the University of Utah led by electrical and computer engineering professor Carlos Mastrangelo and doctoral student Nazmul Hasan has developed a pair of smart glasses that automatically adjust the focus depending on what which direction the wearing is looking.

They contain liquid-based lenses that change their curvature to make objects clearer regardless of whether they are close up or far away. The lenses are made of glycerin and enclosed by flexible membranes, giving them a low profile and making them lightweight.