Posted by James on February 02, 2015
Some interesting sunglasses news emerged this week, from the John Reynolds Research Group at the Georgia Institute of Technology. They are developing something called electrochromic eye wear. These allow you to have control over the shade of the lenses in your sunglasses almost instantly.
Transition lenses have been around for a very long time. You may own a pair. These are the lenses that get darker when exposed to UV rays or sunlight. They then become clear when in regular daylight or darker conditions.
The Georgia Tech sunglasses are way smarter than regular transition lenses.
What the smart folks at Georgia Tech are working on is very different from transition lenses. More importantly, it could provide a quantum leap in safety and comfort. The lenses they are developing can change from dark to clear in just a couple of seconds. Moreover, when wearing them, you can customize the shade of the lens to suit your unique needs.
Another added benefit of these lenses is that you can choose to set them, so that they remain dark or clear, regardless of the ambient light. This has a number of extremely useful safety applications. Those with jobs where they switch from shade to sunlight will feel a lot more comfortable, being able to select the perfect shade setting for their eye's unique needs, in seconds.
My wife wears regular transitional lenses and though these provide some benefit, they can take too long to clear when entering a building on a sunny day. Equally, when driving, there are often issues when driving from sunlight into, for example, a tunnel or shaded street.
It also seems that the technology used for electrochromic lenses is relatively inexpensive. If this turns out to be correct, it could eventually provide everyone with the option of safer, more comfortable eye wear.
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