Innovative Adjustable glasses for children in developing countries

Joshua Silver, a British atomic physicist has developed glasses whose lens power can be adjusted by the wearer.

The adjustable glasses/lenses consist of two thin membranes separated by silicone gel; the wearer looks at an eye chart and pumps in fluid to adjust the curvature of the lens to that point until he/she starts seeing a perfect image.

A collaborative effort of Dow Corning and the Centre for Vision in the Developing World (CVDW), the adjustable glasses are an innovative way to help correct the vision of children in the developing world. Dow Corning has committed US $3 million of funding and materials expertise to the CVDW as part of this collaboration to launch an initiative called Child ViSion™.

Child ViSion™ initiative will design, manufacture and distribute (about 200 million in number) a child-specific version of self-adjustable eyeglasses to children in the developing world. The aim is to increase the effectiveness of classroom-based education by improving children´s ability to see the blackboard from which they are being taught.

The idea of self-adjusting eyewear is not new. For example, physicist Stephen Kurtin has for the past several years been developing and marketing Superfocus, adjustable lenses designed for people who would otherwise need either several pairs of glasses for different activities, or bi- or trifocal lenses (This particular vision condition is called presbyopia—the condition that affects almost everyone over the age of 40 as they progressively lose the ability to focus on close objects. Those who suffer from conditions such a keratoconus and macular degeneration, can affect people of any age, also have a fluctuating vision).


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