We have our eye on PixelOptics and actually got to try out a prototype of the new electronic eyewear at Vision Expo. It is called emPower. It will be available for sale later this year in a regional roll out.
What is the purpose of emPower?
The purpose is to make a progressive lens that is interactive with the wearer so that the user has control of the reading or near distance magnification. The electronic eyewear solves the problem of progressive lens wearers who experience “peripheral swim” as changing focus distance is done electronically switching up the magnification when needed, and returning it to lesser magnification when not needed. It also provides wider vision in all distance fields. This is accomplished by a composite lens that combines traditional ‘static’ lens elements with ‘electro-active’ elements that changes the index of refraction (and therefore, the degree of magnification) at a speed faster than the blink of a human eye. Click here for a demonstration of emPower
How does emPower Work?
The control is ingeniously implemented in three modes, all of which are inconspicuously activated by the wearer with a simple swipe or tap on the arm of the eyeglass frame. The frame is equipped with tiny batteries that can power the transitions for days at a time, depending on frequency of use, and ‘hibernate’ when the glasses are taken off and laid upside-down, to conserve power. Even more ingenious is the use of a micro-accelerometer, a tiny sensor that detects when the wearer tilts their head forward to look at something up close and it will automatically boost the power, then switches it back off when the wearer looks up again, restoring the glasses to the functionality of normal progressive lenses. Alternatively, the operational mode can be switched to steady-on or off by different finger-swipes on the frame.
Pixel Optics has strategic partners to help bring emPower electronic eyewear to the market place. These companies include:
- Aspex Eyewear, a leader in innovative hi-tech frame design
- Panasonic Shikoku Electronics, a division focused on healthcare solutions
- Shamir Optical, providing the software for ‘free-forming’ the composite lens
- Transitions Optical, who will be helping combine PixelOptics electro-active technology with photochromic properties
We are looking forward to seeing more of emPower soon!