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 Smart Sunglasses Change Colour on Demand

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Date posted: 03/04/2007

Revolutionary new transparent lenses have been developed by researcher Chunye Xu, a chemical engineer at the University of Washington at Seattle, which can change colour on demand, from clear to any colour of the spectrum.

Fitted to a pair of sunglasses, the colour change is initiated by tweaking a small knob on the side.

The lenses are made of electrochromic polymer, a material that can alter its levels of darkness and colour in response to an electric current. The glasses only require power when they change hue.

Turning this knob activates the tiny watch battery powering the goggles and dials up the desired colour. A single watch battery can power thousands of changes, Xu said.

The chemists have also created red and green electrochromic polymers, and, by combining polymers of different colours into multiple layers, virtually any hue of the rainbow should be possible in the lenses.

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