The Promise and Potential of Stenopeic Eyeglasses

Every once in a while, I see design that makes me rethink the status quo and the technologies we’ve developed to accomplish certain tasks. One such design I find in pinhole glasses, based on the principle of stenopeic vision, or narrowing the beams of light that enter the eye.

In the US, stenopeic or pinhole glasses are often used to treat people who have cataracts. In developing countries, they open up a world of possibilities for correcting the vision of millions of people. Simple plastic glasses or goggles can be manufactured for a tiny fraction of the cost of lens-based glasses and they are more durable.

Stenop – Low Cost Glasses by Nacho Marti

Stenop are correcting glasses designed to poor people around the world with vision problems that can’t afford expensive crystal glasses. Glasses are replaced by rows of small holes using the concept of stenopeic vision. These holes have the effect of reducing the width of the bundle of diverging rays coming from each point of the viewed object. Just central rays reach the retina avoiding focusing errors. Stenop glasses can reduce 80% of myopia, hyperopia and presbyopia. The glasses are plastic made in one single piece and mass produced. They have a very low cost and can be heavily distributed worldwide around kids of poor schools. They are durable and can be done in different colors depending types of skin.

Another article on this revolutionary idea, this time from Ode Magazine

Clear VisionCraig Cox
At 41, Adimulam Devanand was losing his eyesight. A tailor and father of two children in the village of Gopal Pet, India, Devanand had turned over all the sewing work to his wife before finally seeking help at a local clinic. He was diagnosed with presbyopia, a vision disorder that gradually robs the eyes of their ability to focus.

A few years ago, Devanand would have returned to his shop with little hope of working again, but through an innovative micro-enterprise program, he was able to purchase a pair of glasses for 150 rupees (about $3.75) and get back on the job. “Now I can share all the work with my wife,” Devanand told the International Herald Tribune, “and business has doubled, thanks to my glasses.”

Devanand is one of an estimated 1 billion people worldwide whose poor vision has prevented them from pursuing a trade or education that could rescue them from poverty…

Click for Full Article

Want to help this cause? Check out the Scojo Foundation. They are one of many organizations working hard to make poverty history. Their approach? Let the people see!

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