I’m one of those people who suffer from motion sickness and I can confirm that it’s so unpleasant I avoid boats as much as possible. Thankfully the car company Citroën knows people like me exist and decided to help us out. Citroën has created bizarre-looking glasses playfully named SEETROËN to help alleviate motion sickness. Based on the promotional video it looks like the glasses are also meant to help people who want to read their mobiles while travelling too.
So how are these goofy glasses supposed to alleviate the problem? The frames feature something called Boarding Ring technology, developed by a company of the same name, which is marketing-talk for ‘they’re filled with liquids that are free to slosh around’. The Seetroën glasses have four liquid-filled rings that, thanks to gravity, simulate the angle and movements of the horizon so that the motions of the blue-dyed liquids seen by the wearer’s eyes match what their inner ear is detecting.
Thankfully, Citroën says, passengers don’t need to wear the Seetroën glasses for their entire trip. Once they put them on and stare at an unmoving object, like a smartphone or a book, it takes about 10 to 12 minutes for the brain to resolve its feeling of confusion and nausea.
As we age our eyes start to degrade and often require glasses to correct vision issues. For many people bifocals are an imperfect solution. Some new research suggests that glasses of the future will be able to keep everything in focus at the same time by putting fine scratches on the lenses.
It involves engraving the surface of a standard lens with a grid of 25 near-circular structures each 2 millimetres across and containing two concentric rings. The engraved rings are just a few hundred micrometres wide and a micrometre deep. “The exact number and size of the sets will change from one lens to another,” depending on its size and shape, says Zalevsky.
The rings shift the phase of the light waves passing through the lens, leading to patterns of both constructive and destructive interference. Using a computer model to calculate how changes in the diameter and position of the rings alter the pattern, Zalevsky came up with a design that creates a channel of constructive interference perpendicular to the lens through each of the 25 structures. Within these channels, light from both near and distant objects is in perfect focus.
Something like 6 percent of the North American population wears glasses. If you’re amongst these four-eyes, you probably appreciate your local optometrist, who makes your vision possible. Unfortunately, people in developing countries don’t get to have a local optometrist — and that means no glasses. Happily, an inventor has just created glasses that people can adjust themselves, obviating the need for prescriptions and experts. And he’s getting them out to the people who need them.
The implications of bringing glasses within the reach of poor communities are enormous, says the scientist. Literacy rates improve hugely, fishermen are able to mend their nets, women to weave clothing. During an early field trial, funded by the British government, in Ghana, Silver met a man called Henry Adjei-Mensah, whose sight had deteriorated with age, as all human sight does, and who had been forced to retire as a tailor because he could no longer see to thread the needle of his sewing machine. “So he retires. He was about 35. He could have worked for at least another 20 years. We put these specs on him, and he smiled, and threaded his needle, and sped up with this sewing machine. He can work now. He can see.”