Ageing of society is an issue of increasing importance for Europe. According to Eurostat, 36,5% of the European population is more than 50 years old and this percentage is constantly growing. In the next decades, Europe’s growth will increasingly depend on the ability to capitalise on the skills of ageing people: the goal set by EU for 2020 is to achieve an employment rate of 50% for older workers (55 to 64). One of the most common diseases associated with ageing is the decline in the quality of vision. In the framework of an ageing society and higher retirement age more and more workers will require these problems to be addressed, especially when wearing protective glasses. Protective glasses with prescription lenses exist, but they suffer several major drawbacks related to cost and usage, in particular related to the difficulty of focalising on different distances, exposing workers to potential risks. LightSWORDS aims at developing an innovative non-symmetrical plastic lens allowing for continuous focal adjustment between near field and infinity, thus able to compensate different presbyopia and myopia disorders with a one-solution-fits-all approach. The lens is static and does not require any movement and/or stressing while using, moreover it is projected to be considerable less expensive than currently available ones. Other applications are found in security cameras and prescription glasses. LightSWORDS is based on the positive testing of a first initial prototype developed by the SME proposers in the past two years; according to the literature and market research performed by project proposers, this is the only element known up to date that can form recognizable images of objects situated at any distances between 25 cm and infinity in real operative conditions. The objective is now to establish a proper manufacturing technique allowing scaling from small to industrial production, and to demonstrate the soundness of the concept by experimental characterisation.
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeBSG-SME - Research for SMEs