Devices, Technology

‘Autofocal’ glasses adjust based on where a user is looking

Engineers at Stanford University have built a pair of so-called ‘autofocal’ glasses that have been designed to adjust their focus depending on what the wearer is looking at.

The prototype glasses use eye-tracking technology to automatically control a pair of autofocus lenses. By triangulating using each eye’s line of sight, the glasses are able to determine exactly how far away the wearer is looking, and then automatically adjust the lenses to the required level of focus.

While the technology is still early and bulky, the team behind the device hope it could one day offer an alternative to progressive lenses.

“More than a billion people have presbyopia and we’ve created a pair of autofocal lenses that might one day correct their vision far more effectively than traditional glasses,” Assistant Professor Gordon Wetzstein, one of the device’s developers, said.

The prototype device was tested on 56 people with presbyopia, with subjects reporting that the autofocus lenses performed better and faster than their progressive lenses.

A report describing the autofocal glasses was published in the journal Science Advances.