A British scientist has designed a unique pair of glasses that can be adjust by a wearer without any optician's help, and one million pairs of which will soon be distributed in India.
Prof Joshua Silver is hopeful that his self-adjusting glasses could enable a billion people in the developing world to receive spectacles for the first time within just over a decade.
AdvertisementSilver, a retired Oxford University physics professor, is even preparing to launch an ambitious scheme in India to distribute one million pairs in a year.
He revealed that he came up with the idea in what he describes as a "glimpse of the obvious", reports the Telegraph.
The adaptive glasses are designed in such a way that they can be "tuned" by the wearer to suit their eyes, and that too without the need for a prescription.
In fact, the spectacles can help both short-sighted and long-sighted people.
He started working on the idea of developing an adjustable spectacle after a chance conversation in 1985, when he and a colleague were discussing optical lenses.
And after more than 20 years, he has finally come up with a design, which can be made cheaply on a large scale.
He focussed on the principle that thicker lenses are more powerful than thin ones.
Using the principle he designed spectacles that can be adjusted by injecting tiny quantities of fluid.
The tough plastic glasses have thin sacs of liquid in the centre of each lens. They come with small syringes attached to each arm with a dial for the wearer to add or remove fluid from the lens.
After adjusting the lenses, the syringes are removed and the spectacles can be worn just like a prescription pair.
The invention would provide spectacles for the first time to millions of people in poorer parts of the world, where opticians are in short supply.
Already, a trial project, supported by the Department for International Development, has seen thousands of pairs distributed in Third World countries.
Silver's aim is to eventually reach 100 million people a year, with a target of one billion in total by 2020.