Mitsui Chemicals Inc developed eyeglasses that can switch between near and distance vision just by touching a sensor located near the hinge.

Various frames will be available for the glasses, “TouchFocus,” to meet the tastes of users in their 40s and older.

TouchFocus Eyeglasses

The eyeglasses were developed by combining Mitsui Chemicals’ “MR” highly-refractive glasses material and liquid crystal lens technologies. They use the company’s own lens made by stacking nine kinds of materials.

An electric circuit is embedded in their frame. When a touch sensor located near the hinge is touched, the TouchFocus is turned on and functions as glasses for far-sightedness.

Compared with commercially-available eyeglasses using lenses for both near- and far-sightedness, the new glasses provide a wider field of view for far-sightedness, and their rims are invisible, according to Mitsui Chemicals.

There is a detachable battery at the tip of the temple. It can be charged with a dedicated charger. The eyeglasses can be continuously used for about 10 hours. In a test participated in by employees of the company, the eyeglasses were used for about two weeks without being charged.

The TouchFocus is scheduled to be released in the spring of 2018. Though the price of the glasses has not been decided yet, it is expected to be higher than the prices of high-grade lenses for both near- and far-sightedness (¥100,000-150,000), Mitsui Chemicals said.