Infographic: the Tech Behind Glasses, Then and Now

Glasses

Glasses have been helping us to see better since the 13th century, but that doesn’t mean the technology was perfected back then.

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Rather, the technology has improved over the centuries, starting with adding arms to go over the ears to hold glasses on all the way up to blue light filtering lenses, and the technology continues to improve.

Even if you don’t wear glasses to correct your vision, these days there are plenty of other reasons to wear glasses. But how do glasses work and what changes have taken place in the technology behind them?

Glasses Have Been Around A Long Time

Scholarly monks invented glasses way back in the 13th century, but it took a long time for their use to become widespread. In 1784 Benjamin Franklin invented bifocal glasses, allowing him to see both near and far with one pair of glasses.

The arms that go over a wearer’s ears to hold them on didn’t even come along until the 18th century, and at that point glasses began to be used more widely. By the 19th century glasses were mass-produced, which made them available to almost anybody.

While it may seem that the basic idea behind glasses has been around a long time and therefore the technology hasn’t changed much over time, that simply isn’t true.

As new technologies develop and science gives us a better understanding of both our vision and the biology of our visual systems, new technologies can be applied to solve problems we didn’t even know we had.

Recent Problems Solved With Glasses Technology

Just a decade ago few had heard about blue light and the damage it could do to our eyes, even though computers and LED screens were everywhere. Today there are dark modes on social media apps and just about everyone is preaching the virtues of blue light blocking glasses.

As we spend more time looking at screens and with LED bulbs in our homes, filtering at least some of those harmful rays out becomes more crucial to maintaining our eyesight. Blue light blocking lenses can help with this, and they are even starting to appeal to those who don’t need to wear glasses for vision correction.

There are also lenses that can help those who have a certain type of colorblindness see colors more clearly, which has helped people to live more independent lives. Polarized lenses have been around just a few decades, while lenses that change color in response to sunlight have been a major advancement in just the last 20 years.

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Lense technology has made lenses lighter, thinner, and more impact-resistant, protecting eyes and improving the experience of the glasses wearer on a daily basis.

Glasses Have A Bright Future, Too

Glasses aren’t just for correcting your vision and protecting your eyes anymore. Smart glasses can help you get directions, add something to your shopping list while you are cooking, and more.

Meanwhile, nanodrops are being developed to replace contact lenses with specially created nanoparticles for vision correction. There are even technologies in development that could potentially help blind people see. Learn more about how glasses work below!

Glasses

Brian Wallace
Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency , based in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies that range from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian also runs #LinkedInLocal events nationwide, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Advisor for 2016-2018.