Glasses Just Got Nerdier: Electronic Auto-Focus Eyewear

Your eyeglasses might be close to getting a high-tech upgrade that will make it simple to go from reading to typing to checking out the hot new temp all the way across the office. For the first time ever, glasses with electronic focusing are being developed for people who need more than one type of vision assistance for daily life.

The emPower glasses will eliminate the need for bifocals and reading glasses with an electronic “near zone” that lets you see clearly up close without switching eyewear. The embedded electronic components turn on a nearly invisible portion of the lens when you tilt your head down (in automatic mode) or touch the side of the earpiece (in manual mode). But when you need to see something at a distance, the “near zone” disappears and you can use the entire lens for clear distance viewing.

When you retire for the night, the glasses charge on a small charging station so they’re ready to be amazing again in the morning. If all of your well-focused looks at that hot temp actually get you a date, though, don’t worry about being left half-blind: the emPowers can hold a charge for 2-3 days straight.

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See more in Home & Personal or under Gadgets. March, 2011.