Newest Technology in Electronic Eyewear
For people with reading glasses, it can become a chore to switch between bi-focal lenses to far sighted lenses needed to view at a distance. While no-line bifocals attempted to solve that issue, Lakeside Vision and Optical Center in Plano now offers an even easier solution – electronic emPower glasses that automatically switch from near sighted vision needs to distance.
Launched at the Consumer Electronics Show last year, Lakeside is one of the first local eye clinics to offer the innovative new glasses to its patients.
How They Work
After powering up for six to eight hours in a charging cradle, the glasses can run for more than three days. These lenses feature a thin layer of liquid crystal sandwiched between two layers of plastic. When an electrical charge hits the liquid crystal, the molecules realign, altering the prescription.
The eyeglass frames have tiny microchips, rechargeable batteries and wires that supply electricity to the lenses. The built-in accelerometers, devices that sense the downward bend of a head, as though to look at a page, can switch on the reading power automatically.
Wearers can program the lenses to react in response to two triggers: a downward tilt of the head, to signify “I’m reading now,” or a fingertip pressed to the temple of the eyeglasses’ frames.
The trigger activates an oval-shaped zone in the bottom half of each lens, turning it on for close-up activities like reading. When the wearer touches the frame again or looks back up, the reading zone disappears. This transition happens faster than the blink of an eye, say Dr. Deborah Moon and Dr. Blythe McPherson.
The glasses have a parts list associated more with iPods than with optics. The transparent layer of liquid crystals and its electrode array are buried beneath the front surface of the lenses.
Although the eyeglasses are loaded with electronics, they don’t look that way, says Stacy, who is trying out a pair. “They look just like ordinary, high-end glasses,” she said.
Patients have the ability to choose among 36 different frames for their glasses, giving them a personalized look and feel. Cosmetically, the emPower glasses don’t appear any different than regular reading glasses.
Stacy switched to emPower glasses 1 month ago, after wearing progressive lenses for about 13 years. “There are tradeoffs when you wear traditional progressive lenses,” Stacy says. “I put the emPower glasses on and instantaneously my distance vision was clear. My reading was there when I needed it. It’s easier to walk in the emPower glasses. It was a noticeable effect.”
About Lakeside Vision and Optical
Each optometrist at Lakeside Vision and Optical in Plano provides the absolute best in eye care. The practice utilizes state-of-the-art equipment and carries quality contact lenses and eye glasses in their Plano office. The clinic also provides same day emergency care.