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Evan Madill

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Project Overview

Customizable, Adjustable Eyeglasses for the Developing World

Over 700 million people in developing countries have vision loss that could be resolved with a pair of glasses, resulting in more than $200 billion of lost economic output annually. Unfortunately, the success of current solutions has been limited due to the scarcity of optometrists in developing countries and the difficulty of ensuring that the correct glasses are given to those who need them. Adjustable glasses, which allow users to determine their own prescription strength through trial and error, have gained a significant amount of media attention because of their ability to address this access barrier. However, current adjustable designs are dependent on parts with low-scalability that drive costs beyond what is affordable for many people in developing areas. We have designed an extremely low-cost pair of eyeglasses that is adjustable across parameters that maximize comfort and utility. The glasses, which are built from three simple, decoupled components, can be assembled without tools by anyone in the field. The customizable assembly of components at their point of use provides adjustability for both lens power and frame shape, which has not been done before in combination. This innovative approach reduces both short- and long-term costs to the consumer, reduces the need for optometrists, and complements proven, scalable base-of-the-pyramid distribution models used by many NGOs. We have moved beyond prototyping and are in the startup stage of scaling the production of our glasses.

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