If it’s one thing we learned this month; it’s far more rewarding to give than to receive. Nothing can replace the feeling of seeing our friends eyes light up when they open a gift that reveals the deep bond we share and finding small ways of enriching the lives of others less fortunate. The spirit of Santa Claus lives on in our small acts of philanthropy. However, if anyone earned the deference of the entire world this Holiday Season, it should be Professor Joshua Silver. As a retired physics teacher at Oxford University, he’s developed an innovative product called, “Silver Glasses,” which are basically tunable spectacles that need no optometrist to adjust. The secret is quite simple. The glasses have syringes filled with silicone liquid connected to each lens, and the wearer only has to inject or suck out the fluid until the view through the lenses looks close to 20/20.
The beauty of this project? There are no expensive optometrist fees and the glasses are cheap to produce and easily disseminated. The World Health Organization estimates that 180 million people — 90% of them from poorer countries — suffer serious visual impairments. And now 10,000 Silver Glasses have already been delivered to Ghana on a trial basis, giving the gift of vision to a mass of impoverished folk. Silver and Co. eventually hope to send out around one million pairs a year to Africa and have about one billion of these spectacles on heads around the world by 2020.
There are few philanthropic programs that share the same caliber and left a lasting impact on the world. Of course there’s the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program, which brought bare-bones laptops to children of developing nations. A textbook-sized computer with built-in wireless and a screen that is readable under direct sunlight. It was designed with extreme environmental conditions such as high heat and humidity in mind. Or there’s also the LifeStraw portable water filter in which half of the world’s poor suffer from waterborne diseases and this tool contains a halogen-based resin which is claimed to kill 99.9999% of bacteria and 98.7% of viruses that can cause deadly diseases. Silver glasses are the noteworthy product released this month that will inspire a new level of innovation and philanthropy in the field of entrepreneurship.
Photo credit: Michael Lewis
Source: The Guardian