Eyeglasses were first invented in the 13th century in Italy, and were originally wooden or leather frames containing glass-blown lenses.
We’re certainly come a long way since then. Even just in recent decades, eyeglasses and our appetites for them have changed significantly. In 2021, about 126 million Americans wear eyeglasses, and our increasing individualized culture has bled over into how we think about eyeglasses as well.
Although the cost of eyeglasses remains high, consumers are now purchasing multiple pairs of glasses every year, and the demand for new styles has never been higher.
Not only is there now a multitude of different frame and lens styles, but newer technologies are also being incorporated into eyewear. Monocular and binocular smart glasses not only give the wearer heightened vision, but also display information to the wearer outside the line of site. Audio augmented glasses contain motion sensors, GPS, and speakers; and immersive or mixed reality glasses make objects on a board to be viewed in 3D.
With all their expanding uses, it’s likely that the use of eyeglasses is going to increase to virtually everyone, regardless of the quality of their natural eyesight.