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Electrochromic technology — Application to sunglasses —

Electrically controlling transparency


In Europe and America, people often wear sunglasses to protect their eyes.
They use them in a variety of daily environments — driving a car, enjoying sport activities, and more.
An adjustable lens shade can maximize the comfort of using sunglasses. Preferences vary with individuals, and requirements vary with applications.


Ricoh has developed a technology to change the lens shade with complete control.

  • The lenses can be dark under bright light and clear under dim light electrically.
  • The shades are easily adjustable – automatically or with touch of a switch.
Solutions image

Shades of the glasses change.

Technical highlights

Ricoh has developed an electrochromic material for use in sunglasses whose shades can be electrically adjusted between transparency and tints.

  • The electrochromic technology allows transparency to be electrically controlled in tonal gradation while keeping the lens very bright at its maximum transparency.
  • The frame has built-in switches and batteries to control transparency conveniently.

Technical highlights image

Figure 1 Transparent and tinted

Ricoh's vision

Ricoh will expand applications of the technology, exploiting its strengths:

  • Technology to process lenses into curved or spherical shapes
  • A range of technologies to express colors using original materials
Ricoh's vision

Application to a flexible display device

Ricoh's vision

Application of color technology to art glasses

*This technology has been developed partly under subsidy from the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), a national research and development organization.

For more information:

Related information

(Exhibition) nano tech 2016, the 15th International Nanotechnology Exhibition & Conference