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Innovative Products in Asia: A Case Study

Innovative Products in Asia: A Case Study

Adlens, Ltd., a Japanese based eyewear company has just introduced the world’s first pair of non-prescription, adjustable, non-disposable eyeglasses. Many companies have tried to break into this emerging market but Adlens Ltd., is the first to do so with considerable success.

Touted as a savior for those who’ve lost their prescription eyeglasses or who cannot wait for a replacement pair of broken eyeglasses, Adlens has been giving out the eyeglasses, formerly named Emergensee, to victims of natural disasters including the March 2011 earthquake in Japan.

Technology Behind Emergensee

This innovative product works by having the user adjust the knobs on each side of the frame until optimal focus is achieved. A membrane inside each lens is adjusted and its shape is changed by fluid that is manipulated by turning the knobs. This changes the prescription, making these glasses a great innovative product for those who need a backup to their regular prescription lenses. The glasses come in the design that was favored by musician John Lennon: round. The adjustable knobs are removable, though a user would want to keep them handy to make on the fly adjustments, as needed.

Not everyone can wear the glasses: those afflicted with astigmatism won’t find the glasses useful. But, near-sightedness and far-sightedness are easily corrected and those who currently wear bi-focals or tri-focals can also wear Emergensee’s. The glasses are currently priced at $80 and Adlens will donate one pair of Emergensee’s to Rwanda’s Ministry of Health, for each pair purchased for needy citizens.

Award Winning Innovative Product

The prototype of Emergensee won the top prize in 2011 for The Wall Street Journal’s Asian Innovation Awards. With adequate funding in research and development, Adlens Ltd. expects to develop more products like Emergensee, including point of view glasses which are helpful for the entire field of vision. Emergensee tends to work best for straight ahead and side to side looking while Point of View glasses offer an innovative and helpful product to a new market. Other products that were awarded top prizes at the Asian Innovation Awards include a hearing device for smartphones and a kit to aid in the diagnoses of disease outbreaks.

Emergensee is one-size fits all and corrects 90% of vision errors. Their low cost makes them ideal for emergency situations or to give out by governments during natural disasters. The glasses are based on technology designed by Nobel Prize winning physicist, Luis Alvarez. Adlens Ltd. recommends keeping a spare set of Emergensee’s in a workbox, glove compartment, or first aid kit.

A History of Innovation

Since the time of the Silk Road, Asia has been known for its world-changing innovations. Paper, Silk, and even Hydraulics were all technologies developed in Asia. By increasing its research and development and focusing on adding creativity to education, Asia will continue its role as a global leader of innovation.
For most of our history, Asia has been the focal point of world changing innovation and it doesn’t look as if that will be different anytime soon.

Sources: 1, 2