Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

{ action.text }

Eye on the Prize

Last November, a Media Lab doctoral candidate won the Collegiate Inventors Competition for his development of an inexpensive method for manufacturing eyeglass lenses. Selected from a pool of 198 entrants, Saul Griffith, SM ‘00, was one of six winners honored by the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

An early prototype of his invention, a lens mold, is made of two flexible “membranes” that look like shallow dishes stacked upside down and bolted together (see “Spectacles to Spec,” TR, September 2001). Under pressure, the membranes’ curvature changes to match specific lens prescriptions. A chemical compound introduced between the saucers is then cured to form a finished lens.

Griffith’s long-term goal is to provide low-cost eyewear to indigent people around the globe. With Harvard Business School alumnus Neil Houghton, Griffith has formed a company called Low Cost Eyeglasses to turn the prototype into a product that might one day serve the requirements of the billion-odd people they estimate need but can’t afford glasses. “We are seeking partners in developing the technology further,” Griffith says, “and [we] are also working on low-cost refraction devices for the eye-testing component of the problem.”

As a winner of the competition, Griffith was awarded $20,000 and other prizes. His adviser, Media Lab associate professor Joseph Jacobson, received $10,000.

Pages

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me