Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Wipe-Free Glasses

I wear glasses about 90% of the time. They are comfortable, and I like the flexibility of being able to take them off when I read. The problem I get is dust. Over the course of the day, little bits of dust get on my glasses, at some point, the dust has accumulated enough to affect (minutely, but noticeable nonetheless) my vision clarity. To get rid of the dust I typically wipe it off on my shirt. The problem with this is that some shirt materials wipe better than others, you may have touched your shirt with your fingers, in which case the oil from your hands which is invisible on the shirt, will become visible on the glasses. Once there is a smudge from oil on your glasses, its game over until you get to go to the restroom and wash them off with water.

Below are some solutions to this problem, and my explanation why they aren't good enough.

  • Use Contacts
    • When I wake up in the morning (especially after I stay up late, which I do OFTEN), it can be slightly painful to put in contacts, as my eyes have not had sufficient time to "wake up"
  • Get Lasik®
    • I have always been a little hesitant about Lasik®, and it did not get better the other day. I am taking a Musculoskeletal Biomechanics course at Northeastern University, and the professor (a proud glasses patron himself) has done research on the eye, and is thus familiar with Lasik®. He told us that Lasik is not based on any biological sort of equation. It is an art, not a science. As such, its replicability is lower than it could be. In light of this information, my hesitancy regarding Lasik® has turned into a firm opposition
  • Carry around a special cloth that I use to wipe my glasses.
    • There may be some people whom can handle this, but it is not for me. I want a design that does not require me to take anything extra with me.

One idea I have is to use some sort of electrostatic property to make the glasses themselves repel dust. If there is no dust, there will be no wiping. If there is no wiping, there will be significantly less smudges and consistently better clarity.

-Chris Loughnane

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