Wearables

TouchFocus resurrects the idea of electronically adaptive eyeglasses

TouchFocus resurrects the idea...
TouchFocus are electronically adaptive eyeglasses that switch to reading glasses at the touch of a button
TouchFocus are electronically adaptive eyeglasses that switch to reading glasses at the touch of a button
View 8 Images
TouchFocus: tap a button on the temple to engage reading mode
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TouchFocus: tap a button on the temple to engage reading mode
TouchFocus: reading mode engages a set of liquid crystals that move to create a close-focus zone
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TouchFocus: reading mode engages a set of liquid crystals that move to create a close-focus zone
TouchFocus: USB charging takes four hours, lasts 10 hours
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TouchFocus: USB charging takes four hours, lasts 10 hours
TouchFocus: the button blends well into the design
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TouchFocus: the button blends well into the design
TouchFocus: will launch with 20 frame options
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TouchFocus: will launch with 20 frame options
TouchFocus: good looking glasses with electronically adaptive lenses
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TouchFocus: good looking glasses with electronically adaptive lenses
TouchFocus: tap to read, tap again for everyday wide focus
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TouchFocus: tap to read, tap again for everyday wide focus
TouchFocus are electronically adaptive eyeglasses that switch to reading glasses at the touch of a button
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TouchFocus are electronically adaptive eyeglasses that switch to reading glasses at the touch of a button
View gallery - 8 images

We've written about electronically adaptive eye-glasses that can switch between everyday and reading modes at the touch of a button before, but nothing has made it to the wider market yet. So this Japanese company's TouchFocus design might be the first to get the concept up and running.

Back in 2011, we looked at PixelOptics, which used electrically-actuated liquid crystal arrays in the glass to switch focal settings and turn a pair of regular glasses into short-focus reading glasses at the touch of a button. Importantly, they looked good, too, which is not always the case with adaptive glasses.

But PixelOptics didn't make it. Despite a workforce that believed fervently in its product, the early shipments had a range of problems and the company went under in 2013.

TouchFocus: tap a button on the temple to engage reading mode
TouchFocus: tap a button on the temple to engage reading mode

Japan's TouchFocus appears to pick up where PixelOptics left off. The company offers attractively styled glasses that switch focus at the press of a button near your temple. They use a similar liquid crystal system to the PixelOptics one, and TouchFocus is offering 20 different frame designs to begin with.

TouchFocus: will launch with 20 frame options
TouchFocus: will launch with 20 frame options

They charge through USB, with a full charge taking four hours and lasting 10 hours – mind you, that's 10 hours in reading mode, and the glasses only consume power when reading mode is on. And the company tells us you don't need separate prescriptions for the two modes, it's all done using a single standard prescription.

The price? Brace yourself: recommended retail in Japan is ¥250,000 (US$2,220) a pair – plus tax. So you wouldn't want to sit on them.

Source: TouchFocus

View gallery - 8 images
3 comments
Trylon
$2200 and they couldn't include wireless charging? That's ridiculous. People don't like having to plug things in, especially glasses. They'd rather just put the glasses on top of a charging pad or cradle every night. Or at the very least, use a magnetic charging cable that snaps into place when you put it near the glasses, although I suppose that might run afoul of Apple's Magsafe patent.
VincentWolf
I agree with Trylon. I have some hearing aids I have to plug in. A pain in the ass. Better would be a charging plate and simply put them on it and voila by morning their ready to go. Secondly, that price is so typical of products advertised on newatlas!
paul314
How big is an efficient charging antenna? The ones I've seen don't look as if they would fit easily into a pair of glasses. I would go for contacts rather than a plug though.