This is one of the most brilliant, innovative yet so simple and useful inventions that I've come across in a long time. This doctor deserves a nobel prize as far as I'm concerned.
Maybe because I have dealt with really poor eyesight since a young age and understand how disabiling and the fear and helplessness that occurs when I've broken my glasses, or struggle with the being able to afford glasses (not that my economic situation compares) the results are the same though...I don't have glasses and I can't function....it's that bad.... so I have real empathy with people who can't and maybe it's because it seems that there's been so much bad news these days, but I actually teared up while reading about this. It also wasn't something that I really thought about as being a problem, or better, about the ramifications of having that many people who can't see properly and what access to these glasses will mean. Something like this can make a real difference on so many levels.
I know this is being supported by the World Bank. I do have issues with the World of Bank but in this case I do think it is a good thing. A broken clock is right twice a day I guess.
August 1, 2008—For too many of the world’s poorest
people, life is just a blur. WHO estimates that roughly a billion
people—mostly in developing countries—need eyeglasses to read, write,
work, and go about their daily lives. But they cannot find them, let
alone afford the high price tag. It can take as much as three months’
wages or more to afford glasses in many African countries. At least 10 % of this group is made up of youngsters of school age.
vision problems could eventually be corrected on a large scale through
use of cheap, self-correcting spectacles, invented by Oxford University
physicist Josh Silver, and being made by a British NGO for between
$5–$10, with the ultimate target price being about $1 a pair.
made his prototype glasses, called AdSpecs, in the mid-90s after
helping cosmetics giant Estee Lauder develop an inexpensive mirror with
adjustable magnification. While experimenting with his mirror
prototypes, Silver found he could adjust the lens in the mirrors by
varying the amount of silicone oil between two flexible membranes.