Early prototype of smart glasses with liquid-based lenses that can automatically adjust the focus on what a person is seeing, whether it’s far away or close.

 

Don’t throw away your bifocals or multiple glasses yet, but those days might soon be over. A team led by University of Utah engineers has created “smart glasses” with liquid-based lenses that can automatically adjust the focus on what you’re seeing, at any distance.

 

They’ve created eyeglass lenses made of glycerin, a thick colorless liquid, enclosed by flexible rubber-like membranes in the front and back. The rear membrane in each lens is connected to a series of three mechanical actuators that push the membrane back and forth like a transparent piston, changing the curvature of the liquid lens and therefore the focal length between the lens and the eye.

 

In the bridge of the glasses is a distance meter that measures the distance from the glasses to an object via pulses of near-infrared light. When the wearer looks at an object, the meter instantly measures the distance and tells the actuators how to curve the lenses. If the user then sees another object that’s closer, the distance meter readjusts and tells the actuators to reshape the lens for farsightedness.

 

The lenses can change focus from one object to another in 14 milliseconds (faster than human reaction time). A rechargeable battery in the frames could last more than 24 hours per charge, according to electrical and computer engineering professor Carlos Mastrangelo, senior author of an open-access paper in a special edition of the journalOptics Express.

 

Before putting them on for the first time, users would input their eyeglasses prescription into an accompanying smartphone app, which then calibrates the lenses automatically via Bluetooth. Users only need to do that once, except for when their prescription changes over time. Theoretically, eyeglass wearers will never have to buy another pair again since these glasses would constantly adjust to their eyesight.

 

A startup company, Sharpeyes LLC, has been created to commercialize the glasses. The project was funded with a grant from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.

 

Reference:

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.kurzweilai.net

In the historical novel The Black Tulip, written by Alexandre Dumas, an honest and decent Dutch tulip fancier is nearly brought to ruin by his quest to breed a purely black flower. More precisely, his misadventure is due to the dastardly schemes of his neighbor, who, frantic with spite and jealousy over the plants, frames him for a political crime and gets him thrown in jail. The potboiler plot is ridiculously overheated, but Dumas got one thing exactly right: People will go nuts over the desire to possess a living thing in a strange and beautiful color.

 

The breed was developed in Indonesia, but due to concerns over avian flu, the U.S. Department of Agriculture bans direct imports from that nation. So these extraordinary chickens are very hard to get in America and, as a result, are extremely expensive. The best-known and most reputable breeder, Greenfire Farms, offers them for more than a thousand dollars per pair of juveniles; just one day-old chick of unknown sex goes for $199, plus shipping and handling.  You can find Cemanis advertised for cheaper, but the discussion forums of backyardchickens.com (for example) suggest that you risk getting scammed. Order eggs off eBay and you might find yourself hatching out counterfeit chicks of silver or brown.

 

Sourced through Scoop.it from: nautil.us

How are the elements that make up life distributed among stars and planets? As trippy as the question seems, astronomers from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) announced at the 229th meeting of the American Astronomical Society that they knew the answers — or, at least, were starting to learn them.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.astronomy.com

The discovery that extinct marine organisms called trilobites laid eggs provides the first direct evidence for how they reproduced. 

 

Trilobites lived between 520 million and 250 million years ago, and are one of the earliest known groups of arthropods (invertebrates, including modern insects, with exoskeletons and segmented bodies).

 

Thomas Hegna of Western Illinois University in Macomb and his colleagues report the discovery of ancient trilobite eggs in New York State, in rocks about 450 million years old. The eggs are spherical, almost 200 micrometers in diameter, and lie near several well-preserved trilobite fossils.

 

Trilobites may have released eggs and sperm through genital pores at or near the backs of their heads, the authors say. 

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.nature.com