Friday, February 20, 2009

Bringing The World Into Focus

Joshua Silver models a pair of the self-adjusting glasses he developed for the poor. The glasses work on the principle that the more liquid pumped into a thin sac in the plastic lenses, the stronger the correction.
(By Mary Jordan / TWP)

Not a terribly political post but I've been menaing to point out a brilliant little story in the WaPo about a month ago. It is the story of Joshua Silver, a British physicist, and his self-adjusting glasses. An ingenious invention that should help many many people see the world clearly.

Basically you put on the glasses and adjust a little dial until you can see clearly. The dial has been controling the amount of clear liquid inside the lens, the more liquid the stronger the correction. Like I said brilliant and currently $19 a pop, with a projected price of just a few dollars (thanks to economies of scale).

Another interesting factoid from the article is that 60-70% of people in the developed world wear glasses (or contacts) and that only about 5% of people in the third world do. And not because the citizens of developing nations have better eye sight.

Give the whole thing a read if you like.

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