| Photo Courtesy University of Washington and Chunye Xu|
Lenses on the glasses change color instantly when users turn a small knob (powered by a battery) on the frame. The knob then dials up the desired color. The lenses feature an electrochromic polymer that changes levels of darkness and color in the presence of an electric current.
The glasses only need power when they switch colors and, can be made to resemble regular sunglasses so they should cost about the same, says one researcher. However, because further research is required, practical versions of the smart sunglasses won't be available for another year or two.
University of Washington Seattle
This web-only article appears in the Electrical & Electronic e-newsletter. If you enjoyed this article and would like to read more like it, sign up today for our free e-mail newsletters!