Eyeglasses with embedded telescopes

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The woman above left is wearing bioptics, tiny Galilean telescopes mounted on eyeglasses that help some visually impaired people see well enough to drive cars. The problem is, many folks aren't comfortable with the way bioptics look, and they also make eye contact difficult. Researchers from Harvard's Schepens Eye Research Institute are hoping to solve those problems and others with eyeglasses that have much smaller Keplerian telescopes embedded right in the lenses (above right). From a press release:

“This new design has several advantages,” says the inventor of the glasses, Dr. Eli Peli , who is a senior scientist at Schepens Eye Research Institute, a professor at Harvard Medical School, a low vision expert, and the senior author of the paper. “One major advantage is the appearance of the glasses. Because they look almost like normal everyday spectacles, it is more likely that visually impaired people will use them,” says Peli, who adds that the glasses are easier to use than existing telescope models because of a wider magnified view and easier access to that view. Most importantly, shifting the magnified view up leaves the unmagnified view of the road unobstructed, which is important for safety and facilitates navigation...

Not only will the new glasses improve the cosmetics and usefulness of this type of device, the in-the-lens design will make it possible to mass-produce the telescopic magnifier as a standard spectacle lens blank and allow an individual’s prescription to be added using the standard procedure for grinding regular spectacle lenses. This process should also reduce the price of bioptic telescopes.

Telescopes embedded in eyeglasses (Schepens Eye Research Institute)