A concept for smart sunglasses that detect bright spots of light and darken specific parts of the lens to protect wearers from blinding glare may soon be on the market.
The glasses, developed by US inventor and entrepreneur Chris Mullin, PhD in collaboration with the University of Buffalo, were voted as one of 10 top inventions of 2011 by the American monthly Popular Science.
“Our products let users see more in glare situations than ever before, because they reduce direct glare 10 to 100 times more than any other sunglasses,” says Dr. Mullin, adding, “when there is no glare, it’s just a pair of sunglasses.”
The glasses’ lenses are liquid crystal display (LCD) screens, capable of creating dark spots that specifically target glaring light.
A pinhole camera in the bridge of the glasses takes a picture of the frame’s line of vision. The camera itself analyses the image and scans it for glare that exceeds a certain threshold
A pinhole camera in the bridge of the glasses takes a picture of the frame’s line of vision. The camera itself analyses the image and scans it for glare that exceeds a certain threshold.
The camera then alerts an adjacent microcontroller, which directs the LCD to send extra pixels of shade to that portion of the lens, displaying a four to six-millimetre grey square in front of the eye.
The square moves with the wearer to block the source of glare at any angle but still allows the surroundings to remain visible. If the sun moves, then so does the LCD spot.