Electric glasses coming soon

Japan news January 2018

Without a doubt, many people will recall 2017 as the year when acceptance of electric vehicles as the cars of the future achieved critical mass.

Are you ready for the next leap into technological wonderland? Nikkei Business (18 December) reported that by this spring, Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. will be launching sales of electric eyeglasses called TouchFocus.

The product uses a lens known as MR and is the brainchild of the company’s New Healthcare Development Division. It uses two lenses, between which is sandwiched liquid crystal, which enables the focal distance to be changed via a system called touch focus. For the power supply, the frames incorporate a small battery that is recharged via a USB.

“Previous types of dual-focus lenses could only offer sharp focus in the centre of the image, which became distorted at the outer edges. Many wearers found this problematic”, a worker at a glasses chain told the magazine.

Mitsui Chemicals’ new products will use a custom-fit and be made to order at the company’s Nagoya plant. They are expected to sell for about ¥200,000 a pair—a price equivalent to the upper range of conventional spectacles—and the firm has targeted annual sales of 50,000 to 60,000 pairs, roughly equivalent to a 1% market share.