child vision glasses allow kids to customize prescription
child vision glasses allow kids to customize prescription child vision glasses allow kids to customize prescription
jul 05, 2013

child vision glasses allow kids to customize prescription

child vision glasses allow kids to customize prescription
photo by maja kecman




an initiative of dow corning and the centre for vision in the developing world (CVDW), child vision glasses for children ages 12-18 allow the wearer to self-adjust their prescription. josh silver, CEO of CVDW saw a problem: at least 100 million young people worldwide have poor vision, and in many developing countries access to an optician is typically expensive and unreliable. without appropriate eyesight correction, kids struggle to see the blackboard in the classroom impacting their education and social participation. silver and the CVDW team developed a lens technology that provides  youth with the power to change their prescription independently as their eyesight evolves with age. by using the idea of self-refraction, the engineers behind the eyewear designed fluid-filled lenses which can be tweaked so that the wearer’s vision becomes clear, improving their ability to live a normal and productive life.



a close up of the child vision glasses
photo by petr krejci




maja kecman led a team through the development process, conducting user research in china and the UK covering the areas of concept design, prototyping and design for manufacture. through her fieldwork she realized that the lenses needed to be perfectly round. the result is a rigid front lens and hard-coated back membrane which forms a cavity for clear silicone oil. this liquid is driven in and out of the lens changing its curvature, which in turn alters the strength of it. the child vision project had a very tight deadline and was realized as a fully functioning prototype in two months, working together with goodwin hartshorn who dealt with all other aspects apart from the optics–the hardware for the lenses: the frames, the adjusters and sealing mechanism. for flexibility, the specs have straight, springy arms so that they can adapt to the facial types and sizes of the youth wearing them. the adjusters themselves allow the child to control their prescription and have been developed to incorporate a sealing mechanism making the removal of them easy and intuitive. the overall construction lends itself to mass-manufacturing, keeping the cost of production as low as possible. to encourage children to be excited by the design, the glasses are lightweight and available in a variety of colours.



detail of the adjuster mechanism designed by goodwin hartshorn
photo by petr krejci



‘child vision’ was one of the shortlisted winners of the ‘product’ category of the design museum‘s 2013 design of the year award. this year recognized more than 99 projects across seven different categories in the areas, with the self-adjusting eyewear winning the inaugural visitor’s vote for its ingenuity. see the entire shortlist of the 2013 designs of the year nominees on designboom here.



photo by petr krejci



glasses are based on a fluid-filled lens technology



‘we are delighted to have won the visitor vote. there are two aspects to eyewear, firstly it has to function properly and give you clear vision, but equally important, it also has to look good! it’s great that the public have taken this design to their hearts and voted us their design of the year.’professor josh silver, CEO of child vision for the developing world



dow corning and CVDW launch children’s vision correction initiative
video courtsey of dow corning corporation



the glasses are small, attractive, and available in a variety of colors





in five simple steps, the self-adjusting eye-wear become a pair of reliable prescription glasses for children










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