Patent these spectacles.. Doh!

I'm always having world-shattering ideas. Things that will change everything, at least for some, or at least me. Usually I just chuckle and move on with my day.

Sometimes they will make it to a Post-It! note (in actual fact paper scraps on nano-tape, but you get the idea). Some even worm into the digital realm, no matter how shaky that's proven to be for me.

Many I pass on. It turns out the best place to put them, is "out there" somewhere, usually anonymously. Then I forget them. I get a buzz when I watch them pop up in the world later. I have no truck with ambition. And with great money comes great responsibility, so I'm tangibly afraid of the former.

Thing is, I don't know who I might tell about this and I can't seem to forget it, because it would be so darned life-changing for me. No Post-It! required. The idea won't be shaken.

Time has passed and I thought someone else would have picked up on it (this idea flying around) by now, as it seems obvious to me; like many things. But no. So here it is. Can someone please pass it on to the relevant CEO.

Ever heard of adjustable glasses?

This sort of thing.

Your Google results will likely be full of articles lauding their usefulness and practicality, mainly focusing (ahem) on the money-saving aspect (multi-user, third-world, etc.). Little mention of the tremendous potential benefit to the 1.8 billion people in the world who suffer from regular age-related presbyopia. That's a big market.

I'm fortunate in that my left and right eye prescriptions are identical. I can buy easy-readers at two quid a pop (back-ups; my daily specs are the six-quid* hard-boxed sets from "Flying Pig" (our fun name for Flying Tiger; a Danish chain)). But I am aware that most people need to spend way more than this on specs.

But whether your adjustables are easy-reader generics or optometrist-specified doo-dah's, you would still need to be continually adjusting them to fit the situation.

I don't know about you, but as I've aged, the decades of optical abuse (a decade in a literal darkroom, more decades gaping into screens...) have started to take their toll. When I was a kid I could gaze into the stars and the next minute hold a circuit board 1cm from my eye to check out some fine detail. Now I need glasses.

And not just one pair, but a whole range of pairs. +1 to enjoy the stars/cycling/driving, +2 for general household use/shops, +2.5 in the kitchen, +3 for small screens, +3.5 for sewing and soldering, and I sometimes double them up for super close-up work. I can switch glasses dozens of times a day. I may be an extreme case, but still; inconvenient.

It's a pain-in-the-arse, basically, and the only reason I haven't actually gone out and purchased a pair of these adjustable gadgies; okay two reasons; is that a) the ones I see in my price range always look like cheap crap that I would regret buying (you buy a thing, they make another of that thing, or more likely another two of it, and the Earth don't need that) and b) every time I look at them I think, "WHAT A WASTED OPPORTUNITY! These could be AWESOME".

With the addition of a little tech, that is. Tech we already have down. And down to millimetres in size, something easily fit into spectacles. Okay two things..

1) Proximity sensor(s) (measuring distance)

2) Servo motors (controlling the focus)

The on-board microprocessor very simply sets the focusing based on the current central object's distance. BOOM!

Think about it. User's could easily alter focusing attributes based on their usage scenarios (having a web interface is trivial for modern microcontrollers, so training is a simple web interface). In the future, you could even upload your optical data (supplied by your optometrist) directly to your device for instant updates.

Upper-market versions would do actual eye tracking (again, we already have all this tech), superior focusing algorithms and more stylish designs. And so on.

In a short time the tech would be perfected and they would look just like regular glasses and save me a lot of swearing in the average day. Meanwhile I don't mind if they look like a robotics class on my head.

And yeah, these would replace all regular glasses, too. No more need to switch out specs when your prescription changes. You could even share your specs, with automatic user-biometric adjustment.

Someone please make these spectacles and I will have two pairs (one will get broken). That's all I'm after. Keep them millions and all that for yourself. Just make the damn glasses!


I know a joke about a sick squid.

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