Moving towards a new generation of electronic eyewear


Belgian scientists are developing a new type of eyeglass lens that adapts electronically to ensure clear vision at all distances.

Using the know-how of the Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (imec), Morrow, a spin-off of Ghent University, is developing autofocal lenses that will make life much more comfortable for many eyeglass wearers. Practically speaking, this innovation consists of an adjustment of the lenses that can be managed electronically for excellent short and long sight.

Soon you will always have the right pair of glasses to hand without the discomfort of conventional progressive lenses.  With an "electronic" pair, you will simply need to apply pressure to the frame for the correction to take place automatically depending on whether you need near or far vision. Reading, looking towards the horizon or driving a car will all be possible with these autofocal glasses. This somewhat futuristic innovation should certainly meet a need expressed by a lot of people who have so far not been satisfied.

At the heart of this revolutionary technology are Jelle De Smet and Paul Marchal, the two founders of Morrow. They were convinced by industry experts of the technical feasibility of integrating their switchable contact lenses into lenses.

The prototype still needs to be slightly refined by professional opticians before being marketed at the end of the year.