Eyes are the windows to the world. When a person has failing eyesight, it can affect job performance, relationships and the quality of life. While optometric services are readily available in developed countries, they can be limited and expensive in developed countries. For instance, the ratio of optometrist to patient in Sub-Saharan Africa is 1:1,000,000 as compared to 1:4,500 in Britain. Moreover, consultation with the specialist eye doctor can be ludicrously expensive.

glassesA British physics professor, Joshua Silver, has a dream to make corrective lenses available to all at a very cheap price. His idea is for ordinary users to test their own eyesight, and adjust the lenses to suit their needs, thus avoiding exorbitant specialist consultation fees. Silver’s glasses are made of durable plastic with silicon liquid in the lenses. He calls them adaptive glasses. Users only need to adjust the liquid in the syringes attached to the handles of the glasses to control the curvature and their vision. This brilliant invention serves to empower people to have improved vision at a minimum cost (targeted to cost $1 per pair). About 10,000 pairs of Silver’s special eyewear have been distributed in Ghana on a trial basis, while one million pairs will be given away in India.

What better gift to present to someone than the gift of sight? The big and heavy glasses may appear rather awkward and unattractive. Nevertheless, for the billions of specs users in developing countries who are more concerned with practicality rather than aesthetics, the glasses is a prayer answered and a gift of life.