Magazine article USA TODAY

"Smart" Sunglasses Block Blinding Glare

Magazine article USA TODAY

"Smart" Sunglasses Block Blinding Glare

Article excerpt

The days of being blinded by the sun--daspite the $300 shades straddling your face--soon may be Inventor and entrepreneur Chris Mullin has teamed up with the University at Buffalo (N.Y) to develop sunglasses that detect bright spots of light and darken specific parts of the lens to protect wearers from blinding glare.

Although not yet ready for the consumer market, these "smart" shades were named as one of the top 10 inventions of 2011 by Popular Science. Moreover, the Air Force is funding research focused on creating this type of eyewear for fighter pilots and soldiers. The technology also may have potential applications in the automotive, recreational, and health care sectors.

Mullin is working with Albert Titus, cochair of UB's Department of Biomedical Engineering, on producing sunglasses that combine sensors and miniaturized electronics to identify and reduce direct glare 10 to 100 times more than conventional brands.

The glasses' lenses actually are liquid crystal display (LCD) screens, capable of creating dark spots that specifically target glaring light. …

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