Find new ways
to arrive at innovation

Find new ways
to arrive at innovations

Geniale Erfindungen, die die Welt verändern


Patents don’t necessarily have to be based on complex concepts. Some inventions solve problems of our time with simple, conceivable, but highly effective principles.

Under this heading, we will present you from time to time with our purely subjective view on patents that at Clou Innovations we find truly awesome - inventions that are highly beneficial to people and the environment. Get excited and dive into exciting patent stories, many of them finalists and winners of the European Inventors Awards. (Source: website of the Europe Patent Office, EPO.)

Joshua Silver with his invention

For example, self adjustable lenses for glasses.


„Most glasses today have fixed lenses, which must be individually supplied and professionally fitted using expensive equipment. These glasses can’t be adjusted later on, meaning that a new pair is necessary when the wearer can no longer focus on close objects (known as presbyopia). Joshua Silver, Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford, had the idea in May 1985 of creating eyewear for the poor, which could be adjusted without expensive equipment and professional help. His idea came after he had, out of curiosity, made a variable focus lens.

 

With Silver’s invention, wearers can adjust their visual aids individually, without an ophthalmologist being required. They only have to look at a reading table and adjust their glasses until they see the letters clearly. Plastic lenses are used so that the glasses are durable but flexible, within which a fluid bag with silicone oil is located. Wearers can easily adjust the glasses, simply by reducing or increasing the amount of oil in the bag.

 

The invention of course has its limits. It currently works only with round glasses, which restricts the design possibilities. Additionally, it allows only for object magnification, therefore astigmatism, for example, can’t be corrected. What the glasses lack in aesthetics, however, they more than make up for in terms of usefulness, and the development of differently shaped glasses is already underway.

 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), uncorrected visual disorders lead to productivity losses of approximately $ 121 billion per year (88.2 EUR bn). These glasses have the potential to contribute significantly to improving the quality of life. Silver has ambition targets – to reach a billion people with his eyeglasses by 2020. He has been working on this technology since 1985, and has not yet completed its work. He is aiming to reduce current production costs of roughly 19 USD to around 1 USD, with a view to selling approximately 100 million units annually. More than 30,000 of these glasses have been sent worldwide through distributors and have now reached the 20 countries, including Ghana, Liberia, Bolivia, Cameroon, Pakistan and Kosovo. ‘This is a small step towards the vision of enabling clear sight for the whole world’. (Source: http://www.epo.org/learning-events/european-inventor/finalists/2011/silver_de.html)