A vision of convenience: New bifocals automatically focus between near, far

Posted by on January 5, 2012 in Lookie There: Interesting Articles | 0 comments

A vision of convenience: New bifocals automatically focus between near, far

FARGO – Those who wear bifocals and have difficulty adjusting their vision now have another option: eyeglasses that focus electronically.

The new glasses, now available at several local optical shops for $1,199, use invisible liquid crystals inside the lenses to focus electronically for all ranges of sight.

The glasses, enabled by technology called emPower, can be activated to focus automatically by tapping the right side of the eyeglasses frame.

The glasses come with a small battery, with a life of two or three days, that can be recharged, much like a cellphone.

“Most people can get along with a bifocal pretty well,” said Blaine Zieman, an optometrist at Sanford Health. “There are those who have trouble adapting. This is another option.”

Standard bifocals cost roughly half of what the electronic glasses cost and typically range from $450 to $500, Zieman said.

The special glasses, available in 36 frame styles, have just become available in the Upper Midwest.

“There’s been a lot of interest in country,” Zieman said of the new electronic bifocals. “The bifocal hasn’t changed in a long time.”

The emPower electronic focusing eyewear also is available locally at Eye Care Associates and Eyes on 43rd in Fargo.

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