Bifocals and trifocals allow people with limited vision to see objects at varying distances, but only by refocusing on the object from a different vantage. A scientist named Zeev Zalevsky responded to this problem by developing a lens that allows the user to focus on any distance out from 33 centimeters:

It involves engraving the surface of a standard lens with a grid of 25 near-circular structures each 2 millimetres across and containing two concentric rings. The engraved rings are just a few hundred micrometres wide and a micrometre deep. "The exact number and size of the sets will change from one lens to another," depending on its size and shape, says Zalevsky.

The rings shift the phase of the light waves passing through the lens, leading to patterns of both constructive and destructive interference. Using a computer model to calculate how changes in the diameter and position of the rings alter the pattern, Zalevsky came up with a design that creates a channel of constructive interference perpendicular to the lens through each of the 25 structures. Within these channels, light from both near and distant objects is in perfect focus.

"It results in an axial channel of focused light, not a single focal spot," Zalevsky says. "If the retina is positioned anywhere along this channel, it will always see objects in focus."

Link via DVICE | Photo (unrelated) via Flickr user Muffet used under Creative Commons license

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Wonder if the circular engraving could be done on contacts or implantable lenses. That would be very cool.
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yeah those pinhole glasses will work "fine" until you need your peripheral vision or until someone sees you in them looking like an idiot.
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And the all important question- How much will they cost??? Sounds great but....
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Fresnel Lens. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fresnel_lens

The invention would be creating one with a continuous focal length.
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"It involves engraving the surface of a standard lens with a grid of 25 near-circular structures each 2 millimetres across and containing two concentric rings. The engraved rings are just a few hundred micrometres wide and a micrometre deep."

sounds like an improved "zone plate" design.

similar optic developed for unmagnified rifle sight:

http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/2010/05/breakthrough-microsight-technology-improves-iron-sights/
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