Academics in South Korea are currently working on a new kind of glasses. 3D printed and wirelessly connected, they are able to monitor brain, eye, but also automatically transform into sunglasses or act as a controller in a game
‘is the American Chemical Society that echoes this with the publication of work by engineers from the KU-KIST Graduate School of Converging Science and Technology and the National Research Foundation of Korea. Using a 3D printer, they first created a very classic eyeglass frame. Then they put sensors in it, and that’s where it gets very interesting.
Sensors to monitor brain activity
First, they integrated flexible electrodes located near the wearer’s ears and eyes. The first sensors act as an electroencephalogram for the electrical activity of the brain, while the latter follow eye movements. The collected data is transmitted wirelessly from the glasses to an app. The first brain records were conclusive, and they can be valuable in the field of health.
As for eye data, it offers a whole field of application. In the video game first, since the engineers managed to stack bricks in a Tetris-type video game simply by moving their eyes. In particular, the designers explain that the sensor takes into account the angles of eye movements. This function could, in the long run, allow you to play without controllers or even replace a mouse on a computer. The goal is to go further in the human-machine interface using the eyes, which is also promising to assist people with severe disabilities like tetraplegia.
A UV sensor to turn them into sunglasses
Other sensors placed on the branches include an accelerometer, similar to that found in smartphones or connected wristbands. It can therefore count the number of steps in the day, but also detect a fall. Again, this could be useful for monitoring seniors, especially with wireless connection.
Finally, this is not new, even if it is very rare, the lenses are able to darken automatically depending on the brightness. One of the branches incorporates a UV light sensor, capable of measuring the intensity of incoming ultraviolet rays. When sunlight is too intense, the sensor triggers an electrochromic ion gel that blocks UV rays inside the glasses to darken them. As a result, it turns into sunglasses!