Florida Patent of the Month – July 2022
Many people need glasses for their day to day life. As people age, they often find themselves lacking vision both near and far and begin using distance and reading glasses, or a combination of the two (i.e. bifocals). Some people simply do not adjust well to these multi-focal lenses or find switching between glasses to be a nuisance. e-Vision Smart Optics, Inc. has developed electronic eyewear which uses electro-active lenses to achieve adjustable optical power in a single pair of glasses.
Traditionally, these electro-active lenses are manufactured via a molding process in which a liquid form of lens material is poured into a mold to form the lenses. This method requires the added electronics to be bulky enough to withstand the mechanical forces applied during molding which means the final product is often heavy or even rugged.
e-Vision developed an alternative manufacturing method to better produce their electronic eyewear. Their manufacturing process uses 3D printing techniques to place the electronics on a substrate. Resin is then printed on either side to create the optical segment while encapsulating the electronics. The resin also reduces any mechanical force applied to the electronics during printing, ensuring a smaller circuitry can be used without damage.
This manufacturing process supports the delicate nature of the electro-active lenses. The lenses can be used in a range of applications – from vision correction to mixed virtual reality. In the latter, with a display screen so close to the eyes, users have had trouble being able to adjust their focus between the real world and the overlaid virtual reality. With electro-active lenses and variable focus abilities, the real world and virtual image can be achieved at the same focus distance for the eyes, preventing any brain conflict in deciphering vision.
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