Skip to main content

The FDA approves special contact lenses that turn dark on sunny days

Photochromic sunglasses which can darken or lighten depending on how much ultraviolet radiation they come into contact with have been around for years. Until now, folks who wear contact lenses haven’t been quite so lucky, unfortunately. That is about to change, however, thanks to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration officially giving its seal of approval to the first contact lenses which incorporate photochromic elements.

Thanks to a special additive, the lenses will automatically darken when they’re exposed to bright light while becoming clear again in normal or dark lighting conditions. As such, they offer vision correction that will continuously balance their tint to control the amount of light entering each eye. The upshot is that you get a bit of added protection from the sun, while also having the chance to scare the bejesus out of your co-workers with your reflective black shark eyes! (Although we’re assuming that, in reality, the effect is a little bit more subdued than that.)

Related Videos

“This contact lens is the first of its kind to incorporate the same technology that is used in eyeglasses that automatically darken in the sun,” Malvina Eydelman, who oversees the ophthalmic, and ear, nose and throat devices for the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in a statement.

The Acuvue Oasys Contact Lenses with Transitions Light Intelligent Technology are produced by Johnson and Johnson Vision Care. The soft contact lenses are designed for daily use up to a maximum of 14 days for people who are both nearsighted and farsighted. They can additionally be used by folks with certain types of astigmatism, an abnormal curvature of the eye. In total, upward of 40 million Americans wear contact lenses, meaning that there is a potentially massive market for this technology.

The lenses are the result of more than a decade of product development and clinical trials involving more than 1,000 patients. According to current plans, they will be available to buy in the first half of 2019.

Other photochromic technology we’ve recently covered at Digital Trends include special windows developed by researchers at Stanford University which switch from dark to clear depending on an electric current.

Editors' Recommendations

Oppo may reveal AR Glasses and (maybe) a foldable phone at Inno Day 2021
oppo AR glass 2021

Oppo has been at the forefront of several smartphone innovations including superfast charging, numerous movable camera modules, and periscope telephoto cameras. The company is now all set to unveil a slew of new-age innovations at its upcoming Oppo Inno Day 2021 virtual conference on December 14 and 15. Among the devices that it's set to showcase at the event, a pair of augmented reality (AR) Glasses and a rumored foldable phone are likely to excite many technology enthusiasts.
New AR Glasses
Oppo announced its venture into the category of AR Glasses through its official Twitter account. The use of the tagline "Light Meets Light" suggests a pair of smart AR glasses that will also be lightweight.

Read more
Hubble turns on one instrument, others remain in safe mode
The Hubble Space Telescope is currently in safe mode once again after an instrument issue.

Engineers at NASA are continuing work to fix the troubled Hubble Space Telescope, which is experiencing problems for the second time this year.

The problem began on October 25, when the science instruments automatically switched to safe mode as they are programmed to do when an issue occurs. This puts the instruments into a basic operating mode in which they don't collect any science data and ensures that the instruments aren't damaged by any faulty commands. The issue seems to be a problem with data synchronization.

Read more
Fitbit Premium’s newest features include a Daily Readiness Score, ECG app
Fitbit Charge 5

Fitbit is releasing two new features for subscribers starting November 9. One is for subscribers to its Premium plan that will allow them to take advantage of the Daily Readiness Score, which is designed to help users achieve the optimal workout and recovery times for their bodies. The other feature is the ECG app, available on the Fitbit Charge 5 only, which tracks the rhythm and atrial fibrillation of the user's heart.
Daily Readiness Score
New or existing subscribers to Fitbit Premium will be able to use the Daily Readiness Score to receive a personalized score each morning with notes on how that scoring was achieved. With it, you're supposed to be able to track when to rest, work out, stress management, and more. Fitbit promises a lot, but users will have to practice their patience since calibrating takes four days to receive the first score.

Over time, your readiness score should become more tailored to your lifestyle. From there, it will help you better understand what your score means in relation to your activity, sleep patterns, and heart rate variability. With a low score, it may advise you to rest more. A higher score means your body is ready to prioritize a more intense workout to minimize fatigue. Depending on your score, you might be recommended content intended to maximize your day.

Read more