Myopia or nearsightedness is an extremely common vision condition that afflitcs a lot of people, including me. Essentially what this means is that we can focus on objects that are close, with ease, but struggle with items that are placed further away. These items seem blurred or unclear to us. This usually occurs when a person spends too much time focusing on nearby items, causing our eyeballs to actually change in shape over time, making it too long front-to-back. And with people spending most of their day interacting with screens, it isn’t a shocker how widespread this condition is. In fact, this common condition is growing so rapidly, that it is predicted that by 2050, half of the world’s population will be affected by it. This is where Japanese pharmaceutical startup Kubota decided to step in. They’ve designed special eyeglasses that can improve or even cure Myopia!
Designer: Kubota Glass
Kubota’s wearable design has been amped with an array of nano projectors, which project light at the wearer’s retina in a specific pattern, to cause blurring at short distances, in turn forcing them to look further away. This helps the eyeball to morph back into its original shape and allows one’s vision to return to normal. You’re supposed to wear the glasses for a couple of hours a day, usually when you’re simply relaxing or unwinding in the comfort of your home. With the help of AR tech, the glasses create, “an image environment that makes you feel as if you are looking far away even when you are at home.”
“Projection of a blurred image onto the peripheral part of the retina (myopic defocus stimulation) resulted in a reduction in the axial length of the eye (the length from the cornea to the retina) compared to the target eye — proof of concept has been confirmed.”, said Kubota, after conducting multiple tests in May and August 2020, using various devices.
At the moment only 20 pairs have been produced and gone on sale in Japan. Each eyeglass costs $5700 and comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee – basically a complete refund if they don’t work. We can’t wait for the glasses to be launched globally, and witness how they could actually help people with Myopia…who knows maybe I could be one of the early bird shoppers!