Tunable Glasses

$79 (£58) glasses can change focus from -5 to +2 in a matter of seconds.

It's a struggle that many spectacle-wearers face on a daily basis, but the good news is that the days of fumbling around for your reading glasses could soon be a thing of the past, thanks to a new pair of 'tunable' glasses.

The glasses can change their strength with a turn of a dial, depending on what the wearer is using them for. They can change focus from -5 to +2 in a matter of seconds, eliminating the need to carry multiple pairs of specs with you.

The designers, based in San Francisco, hope their glasses could help people suffering from presbyopia - a condition that affects the eyes' ability to focus on nearby objects, and causes sufferers to require different glasses for different activities.

This week, the glasses were awarded the 2021 Innovation Award in the Wearable Technology category at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

The tunable glasses, dubbed the VOY Glasses, feature a small dial on each arm. To adjust the lenses, the wearer can simply turn the wheel away from the nose for a more negative power, or turn the wheel towards the nose for a more positive power.

On its website, the designers explain: 'You can adjust one eye at a time then fine-tune your vision with both eyes open for the most comfortable view.'

The glasses use a technology first developed back in the 1960s by Luis Walter Alvarez, a Nobel prize-winning physicist. The technology relies on two polycarbonate plates on each side of the glasses, which slide across each other when the wheel is adjusted. Depending on the position of the plates, the strength of the lenses is adjusted.

This technology is already used in a range of other settings, including in smartphone zoom cameras and medical devices. The VOY glasses come as both eyeglasses or sunglasses and come with a blue light blocker, anti-reflection and UV protection coatings.

They're currently priced at $79 (£58), and come in a range of colours - black, tortoise, brown, grey, burgundy and white.



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