Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Smart' sunglasses block blinding glare

Date:
July 19, 2011
Source:
University at Buffalo
Summary:
The days of being blinded by glare from the sun, despite the $300 sunglasses straddling your face, may soon be over.

Inventor and entrepreneur Chris Mullin has partnered with the University at Buffalo to produce high-tech sunglasses that combine sensors and miniaturized electronics to block bright glare.
Credit: Dynamic Eye and University at Buffalo

The days of being blinded by glare from the sun, despite the $300 sunglasses straddling your face, may soon be over.

Related Articles


Chris Mullin, PhD, a formerly local inventor and entrepreneur, has teamed up with the University at Buffalo to develop sunglasses that detect bright spots of light and darken specific parts of the lens to protect sunglasses wearers from blinding glare.

And the U.S. Air Force is funding new research focused on creating eyewear for fighter pilots and soldiers. The technology may also have potential applications in the automotive, recreational and health care sectors.

"Our products let users see more in glare situations than ever before, because they reduce direct glare 10 to 100 times more than any other sunglasses," says Mullin, adding, "when there is no glare, it's just a pair of sunglasses."

Mullin is the founder and CEO of Dynamic Eye, a company he created in 2003, and has since worked with UB electrical-engineering professor Albert Titus, PhD, on producing state-of-the-art sunglasses that combine sensors and miniaturized electronics to identify and block bright glare.

The sunglasses are not yet ready for the consumer market.

Together, Mullin and Titus improved the speed at which the sensor was able to detect glare, at one point taking a prototype of the sunglasses to Buffalo's Delaware Park and testing them out on random park goers.

"Dr. Titus and I built a significant amount of 'brains' into our patented glare sensor," says Mullin, an expert in optics, electronics and plastics. "Our microcontroller does not need to work very hard to perceive and fight glare."

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

A pinhole camera in the bridge of the glasses takes a picture of the frame's line of vision. The camera itself analyzes the image and scans it for glare that exceeds a certain threshold.

The camera then alerts an adjacent microcontroller, which directs the LCD to send extra pixels of shade to that portion of the lens, displaying a four- to six-millimeter gray square in front of the eye.

The square moves with the wearer to block the source of glare at any angle but still allows the surroundings to remain visible. If the sun moves, then so does the LCD spot.

This whole process takes about 50 milliseconds.

Glasses for glaucoma patients with sensitivity to light would certainly benefit from Mullin's technology, as would a car's rearview mirrors and windshield, to avoid being blinded by either bright headlights at night or the sun. "A few circuits, a little battery power and you can really fight the sun," says Mullin.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University at Buffalo. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University at Buffalo. "'Smart' sunglasses block blinding glare." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110718142826.htm>.
University at Buffalo. (2011, July 19). 'Smart' sunglasses block blinding glare. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110718142826.htm
University at Buffalo. "'Smart' sunglasses block blinding glare." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110718142826.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) Brave Robotics and Asratec teamed with original Transformers toy company Tomy to create a functional 5-foot-tall humanoid robot that can march and fold itself into a 3-foot-long sports car. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A California-based startup has designed new law enforcement technology that aims to automatically alert dispatch when an officer's gun is unholstered and fired. Two law enforcement agencies are currently testing the technology. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins