Japanese Company Creates “Smart Glasses” That Can Allegedly Cure Myopia

Japan’s Kubota Pharmaceutical Holdings claims to have developed smart glasses that, if worn just an hour per day, can allegedly cure myopia.

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a common ophthalmological condition in which you can see objects near to you clearly, but objects farther away are blurry. To compensate for this blur, you have the option of wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses, or the more invasive refractive surgery. But a Japanese company claims to have come up with a new non-invasive way of dealing with myopia – a pair of “smart glasses” that project an image from the lens of the unit onto the wearer’s retina to correct the refractive error that causes nearsightedness. Apparently, wearing the device 60 to 90 minutes a day corrects myopia.

Photo: Kubota Pharmaceutical Holdings

Founded by Dr. Ryo Kubota, Kubota Pharmaceutical Holdings is still testing the device, known as Kubota Glasses, and trying to determine how long the effect lasts after the user wears the device, and how much the awkward-looking goggles have to be worn for the correction to be permanent.

So how does the technology developed by Kubota work, exactly. Well, according to a company press release from December of last year, the special glasses rely on micro-LEDS to project virtual images on the peripheral visual field to actively stimulate the retina. Apparently, it can do that without interfering with the wearer’s daily activities.

“This product, which uses multifocal contact lens technology, passively stimulates the entire peripheral retina with light myopically defocused by the non-central power of the contact lens,” the press release states. “Kubota Glasses technology leverages nanotechnology in its electronic glasses-based device and seeks to reduce the progression of myopia by actively stimulating the retina for shorter periods while maintaining high-quality central vision and not affecting daily activities.”

Photo: Kubota Pharmaceutical Holdings

Kubota Pharmaceutical began clinical trials in the summer of last year, and is currently conducting clinical tests on about 25 people in the U.S. to assess the effectiveness of its smart glasses. The company plans to begin selling the device in Asia in the second half of 2021, but has plans to enter other markets in the future, and is also working on a contact lens-type device that corrects myopia, for people who can’t stand glasses.

“We intend to sell it first in Asia, which has a high ratio of nearsighted people,” Ryo Kubota told Nikkei.