Japanese researchers develop glasses to help wearers maintain health

By The Yomiuri Shimbun

When a person uses their smartphone or computer for long periods of time, the number of times they blink decreases, which can lead to overall health issues.

To address the problem, a research team at Ritsumeikan University is working on developing glasses that can accurately count the number of blinks and let wearers know when they need to rest their eyes.

Kyosuke Futami, an assistant professor of the College of Information Science and Engineering at the university and a researcher on the team, found that the skin around the eyes slightly swells whenever a person blinks. By using an infrared sensor embedded into the frame to accurately measure the distance between the skin and the frame, the team was able to count the number of times the wearer blinks.

Infrared sensors are inexpensive, compact, lightweight and consume less energy. According to the team, a pair of glasses would only weigh about 40 grams and cost several thousand yen. A prototype has already been made, and the team is looking into ways to prevent sensor malfunction caused by sunlight or vibrations.

Tired eyes can cause stiff shoulders, back pain, neurological issues affecting the hands and feet, as well as insomnia and depression.

"Because a person will subconsciously reduce the number of times they blink, [the glasses] will record the data and give warnings to help maintain the person's overall health, not just in their eyes," Futami said. "We aim to mass-produce [the glasses] so wearers can use it as a tool to help manage their daily eye care."

Read more from The Japan News at http://the-japan-news.com

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