Posted by: juliegriffey | October 9, 2010

Bifocals No More!?

Anyone who has to switch glasses between distance and close-up reading has probably wished for a pair of glasses that could assist with both tasks without dealing with the dividing line of separate vision areas in a pair of bifocals.

Adjustable eyeglasses are not a new idea. They have been in the works since 1866 when a Baltimore inventor filed a patent for such a pair.  Unfortunately none of the adjustable glasses that have been invented in the past 150 years have been manufacturable or usable.  Even somewhat recently, a pair of adjustable glasses made in the 1990s by inventor Stephen Kurtin weighed seven pounds.  Not very wearable…

But Kurtin persevered in evolving his design and have now succeeded in producing a practical pair of adjustable glasses: the TruFocals, winner of the Wall Street Journal’s Tech Innovation award.  These adjustable glasses allow the wearer to toggle between two different types of visual assistance with a subtle switch over the bridge.

TruFocals may not be the most cutting-edge in fashion.  With their rounded lenses, wearers are said to resemble Harry Potter.  This is because only the rounded lens shape could handle the distortion of the lens caused by switching between the two viewing modes.

Not everyone is as enamored with TruFocals as the Wall Street Journal. One reviewer predicted that the product will fail because “they cost $895.00 and are as ugly as hell!” It will be interesting to see if consumers will sacrifice fashion for this type of convenience and be willing to pay for it.


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