Maybe you can get a sample?
I’ll look into these, it said something about a film you can retrofit windows with, so maybe I can put it on small clear lenses. Although, it runs on 110V, so it would be hard to power it, and after a quick look at the product specs page it looks like it needs to be powered to be clear, it would be far better to be the other way (power to darken), or running out of battery at the wrong time could be bad.
The welding industry has something that seems similar.
I’ve seen one of these before.
I think the way they work (just guessing by looking at them) is that the view panel is an LCD with no backing, and when the solar panel at the top is powered, the liquid crystals are powered to turn, blocking the slits of the polarization.
Do you think there would be a way to do this with a regular LCD by removing backing or some other modification? Obviously if this were a real product (like if I was mass-producing/selling them) I’d get custom lenses produced, but I’d really just like to prototype the concept here.
-Battery and microcontroller have the obvious functions…
Function of battery is obvious, but not so the microcontroller. What’s it do? Update Facebook when you go into another room?
Well, it controls all the other parts of course! Sorry, thought that would be clear. Since the algorithm might be a bit more complicated than a linear relationship between ambient light and lens darkening, I figured a microcontroller would be the simplest way to do it all.
The dimming could be done using the ‘welding mask’ approach that Zoomcat mentions. In the non-welding environment I expect this could consist of an LCD panel. To power it, I would have thought solar power would be ideal (just like the welding mask, again).
I don’t know how easy it is to buy a continuous LCD element - I can’t imagine there is much demand for it. A welding helmet is actually the only application I can think of so you might need to think of ways to drive one of those and whether it’s feasible to cut them down to size. Ben Krasnow has shown that it is possible to make your own, but also that you need a lot of specialised equipment and knowledge to do it. I guess the ideal would be a curved LCD to match the shape of the lens, which seems even less feasible.
I guess great minds think alike, because I was thinking of using an LCD panel too if I couldn’t figure out the electrochemical dimming. However, I haven’t heard the term “continuous LCD element” before, so how are they different from a regular LCD?
I don’t know who Ben Krasnow is, but I know that I don’t know how to do this myself.
I agree, ideally I would have custom lenses made just for this, but that costs a lot more money than I think it’s worth for one prototype.