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Adaptive focus sunglasses feature dynamic lens for presbyopia

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4 min read

Deep Optics, an Israeli start-up, has developed a novel electronic lens technology designed to advance vision correction for presbyopes via dynamic focal eyeglasses: 32°N.

These glasses recently won for product design (consumer design and wearables) in the 2023 global Dezeen Awards.

Let’s start with this company.

Founded in 2011 and based in Petah Tikva, Israel, Deep Optics is focused on developing and advancing a new optics technology capable of powering eyeglasses to adapt to wearers with different health conditions—with the first being presbyopia.

Since launching 32°N, its first commercial product, in 2021 on Kickstarter—and with initial investor funding from EssilorLuxottica and Samsung Ventures— the company has collaborated with companies to focus on improving optical performance and visual experience for users of augmented reality (AR) / virtual reality (VR) headsets.

And its technology?

The company’s proprietary DEEPOPTICS technology is designed to dynamically correct vision impairment via novel pixelated liquid crystal (LC) lenses.

These lenses consist of a lightweight LC layer split into millions of tiny pixels—capable of rotation at any point on the panel—creating an unlimited number of dynamic, high-quality lenses that can be adjusted at any moment, according to Deep Optics.

I’m having a hard time picturing this.

Per DeepOptics CEO and Co-Founder  Yarviv Haddad, the LC lens is designed similarly to a transparent version of the liquid crystal display (LCD) screens used in TVs and smartphones and features a liquid crystal layer on top of a matrix of pixels.

Now about those eyeglasses …

The 32°N eyeglasses are marketed as the first and only adaptive reading sunglasses to combine multiple prescriptions in one—specifically, from 0 to 2.5 diopters—enabling a user to switch from sunglasses to reading sunglasses with a single swipe to the arm of the frame near their temple.

This swipe activates a small processor, which calculates a user’s personal data and then sends it to form their prescription lens, a battery, and a Bluetooth chip embedded in the injected polymer frame to initiate the switch.

To note, a fully charged battery is designed to last up to one day of normal use and up to 5 hours of active user mode (used outside).

How does this help presbyopic wearers?

The dynamic lenses can change a prescription (optical power) without moving or changing their shape to electronically accommodate near and far vision. This adjustment also extends to differing prescriptions, which can be updated and set via an accompanying app.

Hence the term “adaptive lenses.”

Talk about that app.

Developed by Deep Optics, the 32ºN Glasses app is downloadable via an Android or iOS phone that enables a wearer to:

  • Calibrate the glasses to their personal needs
  • Monitor the glasses’ battery status, active profiles, and lens states

Included in this personalization is a lens magnification that can be controlled via the app.

Gotcha. So how do these 32ºN compare to other presbyopia treatments?

Typically, a presbyope would require two different lenses for their vision.

Bifocal lenses only correct eyesight for two distinct fields of vision (featuring a typical design of lines between the fields of vision), while progressive lenses allow for a wearer to have clear vision at all distances (with no visible lens).

To note, these lenses can vary in cost, with progressive lenses often more expensive than bifocals.

Speaking of cost …

Per the product website, each pair of eyeglasses is listed at $849 and is available in four different colors.

To gain exclusive early access to these glasses, click here to take a compatibility quiz and see if you qualify for a risk-free trial pair.

Any plans for other models of these glasses?

Yes, actually! Deep Optics is reported to be working on a new model that automatically switches modes (instead of manually) via data from eye-tracking sensors in the glasses frame.

*Featured image courtesy of Deep Optics' 32°N product listing.