Does anyone not need glasses when they get older? 

The eyes tend to be less flexible after the age of 50. 

For someone who is born farsighted, this tends to not 

be noticed in everyday life, or even while driving. 

But when it comes to trying to read something, 

a farsighted person has become in effect blind. 

When most of the time eyesight is normal, it is

easy to forget to always carry glasses. Without

reading glasses, one cannot use a cell phone, or

buy products in a store, or read a menu. At least not

with out someone's help.



Ideally there should be a way to always be able to see,

even when in the shower. US patent number 7,339,755 was 

and still is the result of an on-going development 

of one solution to this problem. Because of the 

fact that everyone has a dominant eye, a single lens

mounted on a ring appears to be able to serve as 

backup reading glasses. 


The patent application was filed before Google Patents

became available. The online patent search resources

up until then were not so powerful. So when US patent

2,134,586 was quickly discovered by the patent office, 

the application was obvious in need of some major changes.

While the above patent is really not intended to provide

a reading glass function, it has not be easy to find 

prior art up until Google Patents came online.


Nowadays there appears to be more attention directed to 

the subject. But mounting a lens on a ring appears

to be rare, and it introduces some unexpected surprises.




The first surprise is that only the dominant eye

needs a lens. The dominant eye is one everyone 

uses to look into a telescope. This eye may be 

different for everyone. But when this eye can focus

on something, ignoring the other eye appears to come

very natural.

The second surprise is that a ring with a lens 

can be mounted on a hand such the hand can rest 

naturally on the mouth. This means the lens does

not move, and is at about the spacing of glasses anyway.

And resting one's hand on one mouth comes so natural.

Could someone naturally read a whole book using such a ring?

The third surprise comes in if one happens to be right

handed and also happens to have a left dominant eye.

This encourages mounting the ring on the left hand.

Now a farsighted person can both read and write and see 

all at the same time.


More surprises came out when it came to building and

testing a prototype. The first prototype shown above

was a modification of a "poison ring". This particular

ring was small enough such that it could be worn 

and ignored until the need to read something

came up. And this particular ring had it's hinge

in the right direction. 


The fourth surprise is that a lens this small appears

to work well enough. This lens is large enough to read

the smallest print on a menu in a dark restaurant.

So the lens size can be pretty small.


The fifth surprise comes after wearing the ring 

for about a year. It may not be easy to see in the 

photo above. But anything worn on a hand is

going to see a little wear. And this is going

to make it harder to view things. So the lens

element obviously needs to be protected from the

external world. 


The second prototype mainly involved just finding

a ring which had a cavity under it's face plate.

The intention was to test the using of a lens which is



In this case a lens is shaped to fit inside the

cavity of the ring. A hole is drilled into one 

corner of the lens. The knot in the cord that

goes through the hole was found to be convenient

if made a little bigger than expected.


The cord is made to hold the lens on the finger.

Most of the time the lens neatly fits in the cavity

of the ring. This type of ring can be worn all the

time, and will be ignored until the need to read

something comes up. After years of use, this lens 

seems to still be able to clearly read the finest print. 

Now moving the lens in and out in this case definitely needs

improvement. This by the way is where having a larger 

than average knot on the cord might come in handy. But

when one otherwise can't use a cell phone, the effort of 

getting out the lens will be the least of problems. The 

third prototype was intended to look for the best way to 

provide access to the lens. 


The lens definitely needs to be protected. So it

needs to be fully enclosed in the ring. The lens

needs to have two stable positions. When inside

the ring, it needs to be stable enough to not

move. But it always should be easy to move it out.


When outside the ring, the lens only needs to be

stable enough to stay in place. But where the lens

comes out should make it natural to read things 

like newspapers. The third prototype shown above

is only intended to address the movement and placement 

of the lens.

While the third prototype cannot be used for everyday

testing, it does appear to provide a natural

way to do things. For the fourth prototype, it

looks like there is a way to build the third prototype 

using a solid piece of metal. And it should be possible to

shape the lens to snugly fit in both the in and 

out positions. This fourth prototype (under construction),

may come close to something that the public could use. 

Don Sauer

Jan 2 2010