Chris Mullin from Pittsburgh has designed a pair of smart electronic sunglasses that pinpoint and reduce glare using a moving liquid crystal display spot inside the lens. Dubbed "Dynamic Eye", the sunglasses dim direct sunlight or other hot spots without dimming everything else in view, so you no longer have to worry about driving home with the sun streaming directly into your line of vision.
Mullin came up with the electronic sunglasses after completing his PhD in physics from the University of California at Berkeley. The idea behind the design sprung from the general lack of functionality from most sunglasses, including polarized lenses, to cut out direct sunlight glare whilst keeping a clear picture of everything thing else.
Using the two polarizers in the liquid crystal display, the glasses are able to darken the area between your pupil and the glare source. Half the light passes through the first polarizer and the liquid crystal in the middle determines whether the light will be absorbed by, or pass through, the second polarizer. If the sun moves, then so does this crystal liquid spot and if there is no glare, there is no spot.
“The problem with the sun is that it’s ten thousand times brighter than everything else you’re looking at, and your eyes can’t handle the difference. You squint, pull down the shade, put your hand, or do anything to get rid of the sun,” explained Mullin on Kickstarter.com. “With our glasses, you can relax, because the sun is dimmed down to an acceptable level. You can still see it, as well as any silhouettes that come in front, and because the glare is blocked, you can see a lot more of what’s near the sun.”
Glare reducing night glasses which use a special transparent LCD developed by researchers at Kent State University is also in development.
Mullin is currently seeking financial pledges to get these sunglasses into production. You can offer a pledge at KickStarter.com