Here’s one of the coolest products from CES: PixelOptics glasses that automatically change into bifocals when you tilt your head.
This is a godsend for those of us ‘of a certain age.’ Who wants to reveal their crotchety oldness by wearing glasses with that telltale boundary in the lens between close-up and faraway vision? Not me.
PixelOptics comes to the rescue with these electronic glasses, whose breakthrough emPower lenses use a layer of transparent liquid crystal to electronically change the lens’s optical properties to suit either nearsighted or farsighted vision.
When you’re looking straight ahead, your head is usually close to level, and a tiny accelerometer automatically sets the lenses for faraway vision. Tilt your head down to read something, and the lenses adjust for near vision. If that auto-change capability doesn’t appeal to you, you can manually adjust the visual properties of the glasses.
When we visited PixelOptics at CES, company reps told us the PixelOptics emPower lenses, manufactured by Panasonic, use exactly the same lens-grinding techniques as conventional glasses, bringing the total price of a pair of glasses down to a relatively reasonable range. They told us after you’ve charged the glasses in their inductive charger, the battery will last for three days.
The downside? You have to pay $1,200 for a pair of these glasses, considerably more than the fanciest conventional bifocals. Another slight issue is that charger felt awfully cheap and flimsy for a $1,200 product, but that would be easy enough to fix.
Those quibbles aside, it’s hard to believe the glasses’ designers fit all those sophisticated electronics and circuitry inside the temples of these futuristic specs. And just think — you won’t have that annoying line across your field of vision, nor will you need to adapt to that weird feeling of wearing bifocals.
Take a look at the stylish frames in the gallery below; they’re looking good, and exude quality. Sign me up now, because PixelOptics says they’ll be available in April.