Glasses are among one of the most popular needs of Americans with 184 million owning a pair. That’s roughly 64% of our nation’s population. The need for glasses range from far- and nearsightedness to astigmatism. Eyewear tech received subtle, yet dramatic changes between the 18th and 21st centuries, but there has always been room to grow. While eyeglasses are such an old technology at this point we rarely think of them as technology, credit for the advancements that have been made in recent decades is wholly owed to the scientific community. The future of eyewear is now completely in the hands of technology, and there are some exciting advancements coming down the line.
Soon, blind users may be able to see again with the help of the Visual Cortical Prosthesis System. In short, this will work through a brain implant. A camera will be attached to the patient’s glasses, designed to restore their vision.
This system will also convert images to electrical impulses in the user’s brain, much like the VISOR technology first seen on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
But artificial vision isn’t the only technology that has enhanced our ability to see better. Blue light blocking technology has given us the ability to protect our eyes from the detrimental effects of technology, namely the blue light emanating from our screens and light bulbs.
What’s more, this technology has pushed those who don’t need glasses for vision correction to wear special glasses just during working hours to protect their eyes from computer screens.
Vision correction is also reaching the realm of accommodating colorblindness and correcting vision with the help of smartphones and nanotechnology. Researchers are developing nano-drops that can change light refraction based on an individual’s needs, as detected by a smartphone app, replacing corrective lenses in areas where vision care may not be accessible.
Smart glasses provide entertainment, luxury, and convenience, and will eventually have features for hands-free calling, wireless music playing, and gesture controls.
As for any scenario, taking a leap in the future is great cause to analyze history. The infographic below outlines the history of glasses, how they work, as well as advancements in lens technology.