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Dynamic Occulter Sunglasses

Sorry, it doesn’t mean “more occult” this time
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An occulter is a device that blocks light from an object.

Dynamic Occulter Sunglasses have a small black dot on each lens that moves around to keep the the Sun out of your eyes while letting you see everything else clearly.

How they work: The occulter for each lens is made of two paper thin magnetic disks (NdFeB or Fe16N2) coated in PTFE. One is placed on the inner surface of each lens and the other on the outer surface. Magnetism holds them together on the lens and the PTFE coating lets them slide around without scratching. To determine exactly WHERE the occulters needs to be, pinhead sized cameras facing outward from the frames identify where the Sun is, while inward facing cameras track your eye movement. A computer controlled grid of very thin charged wires embedded in the lenses activate to move the magnets to the right place. Ideally each occulter should cast a tiny shadow on you pupil.

The sun’s apparent diameter is only about 1/2 a degree and each occulter will be very close to the eye, so they don’t need to be very big - 1mm is probably more than enough.

When not zipping around to block the Sun, the occulters would “park” at the edge of the lenses just outside your field of view. And when you take the glasses off, they could take several sweeps over the lens wiping off dust and fingerprints.

Inspiration: I was out today shortly after sunrise and the Sun was in my eyes. Noticed all I needed was a fingertip to block it out and everything else still looked bright and clear. It was better than wearing dark glasses.

a1, May 13 2023

AdBlock RealWorld [pocmloc, May 13 2023]

LCD Sunvisor
[xaviergisz, May 13 2023]

Digital Sun Visor https://www.cnet.co...sun-visor-ces-2020/
The digital car sun-visor version [neutrinos_shadow, May 14 2023]

Hardware https://www.lumineq.com/
These guys make screens that could do this digitally [neutrinos_shadow, May 14 2023]

LCD Sunvisor, Bosch, 2020 https://www.bosch-p...n-visor-204928.html
This is pretty close [a1, May 14 2023]

[link]






       Cool.
Can you do this for the windshield of my truck?
  

       // windshield? //   

       I don’t think so. In practice it you’d be better off with these glasses even when driving. The reason the occulters can be so tiny is that the glasses put them so close to your eyes, and the sunglasses move with your head so the dots only have to move around on the lenses.   

       At the distance of your windshield they’d have to be a lot bigger, maybe as big as a toonie. And would also need a wider range of motion to keep the shade in just the right place as your head moves.   

       There’s also a funny thing about near and distance focus. So close to your eye, you may not even focus on the occulter, you’d see past it and only know it’s there when it blocked the sun. But I think you’d definitely see and get distracted by two coin sized things zipping around on the windshield.
a1, May 13 2023
  

       [xaviergisz], thanks for reminding me of Dynamic Eye. Even as I was writing mine up I had a nagging feeing that it sounded familiar.   

       (embarrassed shrug)   

       But they took a different approach than I did, their 2011 Kickstarter failed, and in 2017 the company folded. Their Facebook page says they sold their patents but I don’t know if anyone went further. So I guess I have not an *entirely* new idea, but a new approach to something that was not successfully baked the other way.   

       (edited to update Dynamic Eye company status).
a1, May 13 2023
  

       I've had this exact thought for my windshield before, but I think it'll be more problematic than you realize, while walking OR driving. A good way to know if something is approaching you from the direction of the sun is that that thing blocks out the glare. If you're already completely obscuring it, you're much less likely to see that something is between your occulter and the sun. Probably not much of an issue if the sun is high in the sky, but during a morning or evening commute to/from work, when the sun is right at the horizon line, or if you're simply looking directly at it because you can't see it? A hazard you might've seen by simply squinting a bit, or simply wearing normal sunglasses, is now completely obscured by an opaque object.
21 Quest, May 14 2023
  

       It might be possible to make a passive version of this invention. The sunglass lens would be two layers: the outer layer being a collimator grid (similar to privacy screen filter for mobile phones), the inner layer being a fast-acting photochromic material.
xaviergisz, May 14 2023
  

       [xaviergisz], Wouldn’t that have the same problem as those privacy screens? You’d only be able go see directly ahead in a very narrow angle, nothing off to the sides. I mean, it’s not a problem when that screen is doing what it’s supposed to - but would be a problem if applied to driving glasses.
a1, May 14 2023
  

       [21_quest], if the occulter is small enough and moves accurately enough, it will ONLY block the visible disc of the Sun - and that really does reduce the appearance of glare around it. This was what I realized with my fingertip experiment yesterday - that when I blocked the Sun out I could see very clearly right up to its edge.   

       Getting the exact size and positioning is critical though.
a1, May 14 2023
  

       I've never paid much attention to it previously, but I wonder if the apparent size of the sun changes with the time, season, and position in the sky like with the moon. If it does, you could have a real problem there.   

       I do like the idea of having your own portable eclipse though lol
21 Quest, May 14 2023
  

       Or just stare at it directly as "he who's name cannot be spoken on the halfbakery" once demonstrated during an eclipse.
xenzag, May 14 2023
  

       // wonder if the apparent size of the sun changes with the time, season, and position in the sky like with the moon//   

       About 3% difference between aphelion and perhelion. But that’s 3% of something that only covers about 1/2 a degree of ten sky in any case* … not enough to worry about. My 1 mm estimate was generous and would cover more than that even at perhelion.   

       * Contrary to appearances, neither the Moon nor the Sun are any bigger when seen near the horizon.
a1, May 14 2023
  

       // stare at it directly as "he whose name cannot be spoken on the halfbakery" once demonstrated during an eclipse. //   

       If only he had maintained that stare a wee bit longer. I have my labs now working on an inverse version of the occulter lenses just for him. They’ll take all incident sunlight from any direction and focus it into a tight beam to land on the fovea centralis.   

       We just have to convince him to wear them. One possibility is to label them as “X-Ray Specs” and say they’ll let him see through women’s clothing. Another is to leave them somewhere with a sign that says “Do not wear these under any circumstances!”
a1, May 14 2023
  

       "Father, there's some demon that keeps partially blocking my vision."   

       "Clean your lenses with some holy water."   

       "But it moves around."   

       "Get new glasses."
RayfordSteele, May 14 2023
  

       // [xaviergisz], Wouldn’t that have the same problem as those privacy screens? You’d only be able go see directly ahead in a very narrow angle, nothing off to the sides. I mean, it’s not a problem when that screen is doing what it’s supposed to - but would be a problem if applied to driving glasses.//   

       The collimator grid could be radially aligned rather than linearly aligned. Thus, as the eyeball rotates it is always sees straight through. This assumes the eye is in an exact location with respect to the lens, so slightly different collimator grid might be needed for eye offset (wide-set vs narrow-set eyes) or how far up or down the nose bridge the glasses rest.
xaviergisz, May 14 2023
  

       //Can you do this for the windshield of my truck?//
See linky. This is just on a flip-down visor, but I KNOW I've seen a concept with it across the whole top of the windscreen (but I can't find it on the Google).
neutrinos_shadow, May 14 2023
  

       // I KNOW I've seen a concept with it across the whole top of the windscreen //   

       Maybe the one Bosch demoed at CES in 2020? Said to be a few years from market.
a1, May 14 2023
  

       [a1]; that's just the visor I already found, not "built into the windscreen".
As for the idea, I'd be worried about the magnet/s being knocked/rubbed off. Maybe turn it inside out; 2 layers of glass with 1 magnet in between?
neutrinos_shadow, May 14 2023
  

       Ah, so it is. Too many similar concepts and overlapping descriptions.   

       I wouldn’t worry too much about knocking the magnets off the lenses. I’ve got some tiny NdFeB magnets I bought for another purpose - nearly impossible to directly pry them off of anything they’re stuck on. A pair attracting each other through a plastic lens should be pretty secure.   

       Hmmm, if I could pry a couple of those loose from the side of my fridge I could test that assertion.
a1, May 14 2023
  
      
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