An Adjustable Way to See the World

  • BY Justin Alvarez

Imagine if you could change your eyeglass prescription instantly. No more strained eyes or incessant blinking; no more hoping that what stands in front of you will miraculously become clearer (it won’t). However, that image seems like a dream, right? Something too good to be true?

Not anymore.

British eyewear manufacturer Adlens launched its Hemisphere variable focus eyewear into the U.S. market this past week at the Vision Expo West in Las Vegas. A full European roll out is expected in early 2013.

The “instant prescription” glasses is “an innovative application of variable focus lens technology,” said Adlens CEO and executive chairman Michael Ferrara in the company’s press release, using fluid injection lens technology with external barrel reservoirs filled with clear silicon that adjust the refractive power of the lens when turned. Once “dialed and set,” the doctor can remove the reservoirs and seal off the lens.

Available as eyeglasses and sunglasses, the technology was originally developed to provide vision correction in less developed countries, and the company, keeping with its philanthropic mission, is donating a pair of glasses for every pair purchased. While historically correct prescription lenses are difficult to come by and a luxury most cannot afford, hundreds in less-developed countries are now able to receive eyeglasses instantly.

Additionally, as Adlens co-founder and director James Chen has added, the technology can be used in situations of emergencies like earthquakes and floods to “increase safety and well-being of victims … It’s an instant replacement for your eyeglasses and can be shared with anyone in need.”

The Adlens eyeglasses can be adjusted from -6 to +3, covering ninety percent of the population. While not ideal for long-term use or wearers with eye defects, Adlens is a great alternative for people who may have lost, forgotten, or broken their glasses, as well as for communities who typically would not be able to obtain or afford such a technology.