Autofocus Spectacles

There is a new type of lens which may be an option for some people- autofocus glasses!

These spectacles are still a type of Progressive Addition Lens (PAL)- also called a varifocal, where the reading strength gradually increases toward the lower part of the lens, but there is a touch sensitive button on the side of the frame which can be used to switch on or off some of the reading strength, or they can be left in autofocus mode. Unlike a camera, which auto-focusses by assessing the image (usually by maximising image contrast), the spectacles adjust strength depending on head position – this is achieved by an LCD area in the lens which alters the power.

If a client requires an add for reading of +2.00D, the reading strength (the help you get to read) will be +2.00D when the focus is “on” and only +1.25D when set to “off”. This does mean that the distortion may be slightly less than a traditional PAL where all of the peripheral problems need to be dealt will at all times, but I would suggest that they would likely not be an option for anyone who has previously tried and failed to wear varifocals- you probably need a higher reading add than when you tried them before (as you are older now), which means that the strength in the “off” position may be similar to the ones you couldn’t adapt to.

The difference between the on and off add is always 0.75D. Perhaps in future the difference may be increased to give more options. The lenses must be glazed into a specific range of frames- the frames have control buttons and electronic parts used to control the focus, and therefore require batteries, but the range of frames I have seen do look fairly stylish. They come with their own charging point, and apparently will go approximately 3 days between charges- but probably best to charge them every night.

Estimated prices are 1200 to 1500 US$, so we do not expect to be inundated with requests any time soon! Euro prices will be advised when we know more.

More information can be found at the emPower website. (Link Broken! – See Comment Below)

  1. Ian
    IanNovember 6, 2013

    Update November 6th 2013:
    The links in this post no longer work, because apparently Pixel Optics, went bankrupt, as reported in this news site yesterday. I guess that there was not that much demand for these very expensive spectacles after all.

    Roanoke County eyeglass innovator PixelOptics files for bankruptcy
    The company said in a statement it had run into “severe financial difficulty” a few weeks ago.

    The report can be read at;

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