The BLINCAM adds the camera function to glasses. The wearer can take photos with this camera without missing life's precious moments. © BLINCAM
"A pair of glasses is an optical instrument." Do you agree with that statement? In Japan, new concept glasses with a function other than to help the wearer see things have hit the market, one after another. They are made with the latest technologies. What are these new types of Japanese glasses like?
What Neat Functions! Expanded Potential of Eyewear
Japan has seen glasses and devices with surprising functions causing some people to say, "How is that even possible?" Some of them are so unique that even people with good eyesight are saying, "I want to try!" One example is a device that transforms glasses into "camera glasses." Fasten it on your glasses to able to take photos with just a wink. The miniature camera will be attached to one temple of the glasses, and its sensor responds to your wink by activating the shutter mechanism.
The BLINCAM is a wearable camera, a device that you can attach to your glasses. When the sensor detects you winking, it triggers the mechanism for taking a photo. It reacts not to normal winks but to slightly harder winks. © BLINCAM
With this device attached to your glasses, you can take a photo of the scene in front of you whenever you want. Imagine seeing a funny expression on the face of one of your friends while you are playing with them, a beautiful sunset appearing while you are riding a bike or another moment like that. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to capture the moment by just winking once?
You do not need to use your hands to operate the BLINCAM, so you can take photos of moments that could not otherwise be captured. © BLINCAM
Another example is dynamic vision training glasses, which have a good reputation among athletes. The training glasses look like sunglasses with characteristic liquid crystal lenses. While you are wearing the glasses, the lenses rapidly blink as they turn black and clear like you closing and opening your eyes. So you see moving objects only intermittently. The glasses purposely make it hard to see the objects, and training under this difficult condition improves your dynamic visual acuity (which means following a moving object with your eyes), making your vision better than it was before you put on the glasses. The training improves your sharpness of vision, which improves your performance, because you will be able to quickly judge the situation to take action. You will also see the ball more clearly during a football, tennis, baseball or other game. The comments from happy regular users include "The football appears slower now than before" and "Not only has my dynamic vision improved but I can also predict the movement of a ball."
The Visionup glasses for dynamic vision training have been incorporated into sports training for growing children too. © Appreciate Co., Ltd.
Prevent Eyestrain! Eye-Care Eyewear
Awareness about eye health has grown recently in Japan as more and more people use personal computers over long periods of time for study or work. Glasses with eye-care functions have come about as a result. For example, a manufacturer developed a lens that filters out light that causes stress on the eyes.
Eyes contain a component called "lutein," which plays an important role in visually distinguishing objects. Lutein may be damaged by ultraviolet rays in sunlight or by the light emitted from personal computers. If the damage is severe, the consequence may be eye disease. There is a special eye-care lens that protects lutein. The lens is designed to filter out only light that causes damage to the eye, cutting out more than 94% of the light. It has gained a good reputation, as indicated by remarks like "Scenery looks softer than usual, and I no longer get eyestrain so easily."
The special Lutina lens significantly cuts the amount of harmful light that enters the eye. It protects lutein, a component related to eye health. © Tokai Optical Co., Ltd.
Another available product is "moisturizing glasses" that protect the eyes from drying out. Each pair of moisturizing glasses has water tanks on the temples. A dedicated dropper is used to supply water to the tanks before someone puts on the glasses. Water evaporates from tiny holes in the tanks, and the moisture from the evaporation increases the humidity around the eyes, which keeps the eyes moist.
The JINS MOISTURE is a pair of moisturizing glasses. Water evaporates from the tanks at the temples. At the front, the top of the frame extends above the eyes to prevent moisture from escaping out of the top of the glasses. © JINS Inc.
State of Mind and Body at a Glance! Cutting-Edge IoT Glasses
Glasses that help improve not only eye health but also overall physical health are likewise attracting attention. The glasses are called "IoT glasses" because they use IoT (Internet of Things) technology, which connects a wide range of things to the Internet.
The JINS MEME (ES) is a pair of IoT glasses. The built-in sensors of the glasses are linked to a smartphone app. They measure eye and head movements to inform the wearer about rest timing and the appropriate cycle for the individual's circadian rhythm. © JINS Inc.
Let's take a look at the specific mechanism of these glasses. They have sensors on the bridge and the temple tips. First, the three sensors located on the nose pads and between the eyebrows sense eye movements such as blinking. Their measurement data is sent to the linked smartphone. Based on the data, the screen of the dedicated app shows the user's state of mind, including level of concentration and degree of calmness. In contrast, the sensors on the temple tips detect speed of movement and speed of rotation to calculate head movements. Body movements are analyzed based on the results to notify the user of the body's current state, including whether the posture is correct and the amount of activity is appropriate.
The sensors at three places, on the nose pads and between the eyebrows, measure eye movements such as blinking. The current concentration level, energy level and degree of calmness are given as numerical values to the wearer. © JINS Inc.
The sensors on the temple tips analyze every kind of body movement based on data obtained from head movements. The wearer sees the current amount of activity and whether the current posture is correct. © JINS Inc.
While wearing the glasses, you can clearly see your state of mind and body in various life situations. When you are studying, based on past trends, you can find out about times for rest and what time of day is your best time to concentrate. While you are exercising, the continuously changing angles of your body are displayed in real time to help improve your form.
Glasses were once just instruments to improve eyesight. Unique ideas and cutting-edge technologies brought to the world of glasses are expanding the potential of eyewear into unknown areas. The future will likely bring novel uses that no one has yet thought of.Related Articles