EmPower Electronic Frames and Lenses

PixelOptics, a company founded in 2005, has teamed up with Aspex Eyewear to introduce emPower electronic eyewear. emPower is the first electronic eyewear to be offered to prescription eyeglass wearers.

Young man trying on glasses at the optician's office
Westend61 / Getty Images 

What Is Electronic Eyewear?

EmPower electronic frames and lenses have tiny batteries and embedded microchips that control a liquid crystal reading segment located within the lens. Electronic eyewear allows you to activate a reading segment in the lens when you desire close-up, near vision by simply swiping the side temple of the frame. A second swipe causes the near segment to disappear, allowing you to enjoy uninterrupted distance vision. emPower eyewear works by using an electric current to activate liquid crystals through the lens that change the power to bend light in a different manner.

Who Wears Electronic Eyewear?

Young people may not appreciate the benefit that emPower electronic eyewear provides. Before 40 years of age, you have the ability to quickly focus from distance to intermediate to near vision with limited effort, even if you wear glasses for distance. However, at around 40 years of age, the human eye tends to lose its ability to focus on near objects. It starts off slowly, but around 50-55 years of age, even intermediate objects are blurred. This is the reason why you see this age group wearing reading glasses, computer glasses, bifocals, and no-line-progressive lenses.


With emPower electronic lenses, the near segment that gives you the ability to focus on close objects simply disappears when it is not needed with a finger swipe to the temple piece. It also has an automatic function that turns on and off when you look down to read and look up to view objects in the distance. Because bifocals or progressive lenses give you the ability to focus on near objects, some objects may appear distorted when walking around or walking downstairs. While many people adapt to this type of vision, some people get very disoriented and it interrupts their daily life and would benefit greatly from electronic lenses.

What You Should Know About Electronic Eyewear

EmPower frames and lenses need to be charged overnight and the charge lasts two to three days. If you run out of power, the reading portion simply defaults to an intermediate power that keeps intermediate objects in focus, such as your speedometer while driving.

EmPower eyewear will range in price between $1,000 to $1,200. Look for them in optical shops across the country.

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  • New York Times, Novelty, "Have You Charged Your Eyewear Today?" 13 Feb 2011. Page BU3 of the New York edition.
  • PixelOptics, Inc., 241 Valleypark Drive, Roanoke, Virginia 24019.

By Troy Bedinghaus, OD
Troy L. Bedinghaus, OD, board-certified optometric physician, owns Lakewood Family Eye Care in Florida. He is an active member of the American Optometric Association.