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Water-based eyeglasses for the masses?

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TheGuardian: Society: International aid and development: by Esther Addley [1]

British inventor, Josh Silver, a former physics professor at Oxford, has devised a pair of water-lensed eyeglasses (plastic lenses with clear sacs of fluid in between - syringes on either arm allow the wearer to change the amount of liquid in the sacs, changing the power of the lens). His goal is to mass-produce these one-size-fits-all eyeglasses for developing countries where opticians are scarce. During an early field trial in Ghana, Silver met a tailor who was forced to retire because his eyesight didn't allow him to thread the needle of his sewing machine. "He was about 35. He could have worked for at least another 20 years. We put these specs on him, and he smiled, and threaded his needle, and sped up with this sewing machine." So far 30,000 specs have been distributed with a target distribution of 100 million.

I'm reminded of the LifeStraw that filters water as you drink. What other simply designed and useful things can we invent to help people?

[1] http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/dec/22/diy-adjustable-glasses-josh-silver

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