The Pixieray IXI glasses
The Finland-based company Pixieray, with seed funding from the Alexa Fund, is developing eyeglasses — like the IXI seen here — that adjust to your vision on the fly.
Pixieray

Your phone camera can autofocus. Why can't your specs?

Startup Pixieray is working on a breakthrough in vision correction.

How many pairs of eyeglasses do you own? If you need vision correction, you may have accumulated a few. There's your everyday pair, a handful of cheap readers, the old pair you keep around just in case … and the next ones you'll need when your prescription changes.

The startup Pixieray wants to bring that number down to one. The Finland-based company, with seed funding from Amazon's Alexa Fund, is developing eyeglasses that adjust to your vision on the fly, potentially eliminating the need to swap out lenses or peer through half of a bifocal.

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The company’s work, supported by the Amazon Alexa Fund, has relevant applications for areas from perfumes to disease detection.

"In some sense, the glasses that you're wearing are more than 100 years old at the moment," says Niko Eiden, Pixieray founder and CEO. "There's absolutely no modern technology in them so far." Pixieray's inaugural product, IXI, combines software and optics for autofocus lenses.

The company has been conducting research and development on the concept since its 2021 debut and is now in the product prototyping phase. On a recent call with Amazon Science, Eiden showed a build of an IXI pair that looked unremarkable, as glasses go — that's by design.

"The experience that we are aiming for would be the same as any pair of eyewear," he says.

From mixed reality to real-world view

Eiden and his three cofounders — Rebecca Xu, chief operation officer; Klaus Melakari, chief technology officer; and Ville Miettinen, chief algorithm officer — have been working for the past several years on virtual and augmented reality tech for major companies in the field. Even as they had worked on advanced headsets and sensing, they saw an opportunity in the specs so many people don for everyday tasks.

Some electrical clamps and wires are seen in the foreground with a computer screen in the background
As part of the R&D phase, Pixieray interviewed potential users to understand the customer need and which features would make most sense.
Pixieray

“The team has a compelling vision — pardon the pun — for advancing the state of the art in corrective eyewear in a way that moves computing to the background and makes it truly ambient," Amazon Alexa Fund director Paul Bernard said when announcing the funding.

As part of the R&D phase, Pixieray interviewed potential users to understand the customer need and which features would make most sense, Eiden says. Eiden himself is a pilot, and he wanted a way to ensure consistently good vision while switching views from outside the plane to instruments on the dashboard and ceiling. The desirability of that quick-switch focus without multifocals — something that will be familiar to any driver who has struggled with toggling between looking at the road and the dashboard nav system — was confirmed in the interviews. A mechanic mentioned flipping bifocals upside down to work under a car.

Having shown that the combination of tunable lenses and eye tracking could work and would solve a problem, the team began iterating on prototypes. "Now we are diving into the hardware problems: How do we produce this efficiently so that we don't waste materials and it lasts long enough? What type of power requirements? How much real estate do we have to put the components in?" Eiden explains. "It's an interesting journey, because the question and the problem change continuously."

The robustness requirements of real-life usage such as different lighting conditions and temperature impacts were impressive, Eiden says of the research process. Measuring visual quality also proved to be very difficult, he adds: “The experienced visual quality differed vastly from person to person and even more when compared to our lab measurements made with instruments or cameras.”

A Pixieray employee is seen working on a part of a prototype
Pixieray's founders say they saw an opportunity for improvement in the glasses many people wear for everyday tasks.
Pixieray

Pixieray's technology combines a liquid crystal-based lens with eye tracking. Eye tracking is used to understand the distances to whatever the user is looking at, while liquid crystal technology changes the optical power of the glasses on the fly. A typical way to track eye movement would be to set up cameras that capture images of the eyes and send them to a computer vision algorithm that figures out where the pupil is positioned. That's not feasible for a pair of glasses.

"Just the sheer amount of data that we would have to process makes that impossible,” Eiden says. “So we had to find a completely new way to do the eye tracking, that works without cameras, fits into the frames and uses next to no power." Eiden notes their proprietary process relies on calibrating each pair of IXI glasses to the eyes of the user, which can be done with IXI’s mobile app.

The prototype pair he showed still relied on external hardware to wirelessly process the signals, which makes it much faster to iterate new versions. Behind him, engineers were using a control board resembling an audio mixer to find the correct "tune" for each specific lens — a process that will be fully automated later on at the factory.

"Of course, we need to miniaturize this," he says, showing a driver component that changes the optical power of the lens with software. Everything about the IXI, from the lens driver components to the batteries, needs to be tiny to fit the eyeglass frame.

A product whose time has come?

Eiden says the wristwatch industry, combined with the boom in wearable fitness trackers, has paved the way for the IXI. "There's a lot of optimization needed, from a power perspective," he says. "Five years ago, this type of product wouldn't have been possible, because those components just didn't exist yet."

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With help from the Alexa Fund, the company is making it easier to virtually reconstruct reality.

Still, the size and form factor of the glasses require specialized components. "We've had to build our own manufacturing equipment. We are using very sophisticated lasering processes for the manufacturing part," he says.

Once the team has ironed out a successful prototype and manufacturing process, Pixieray will start on factory builds of the IXI. Eiden says the company is targeting a launch by the end of next year.

The promise of the technology goes beyond the convenience of being able to, say, ditch your multifocals, Eiden notes. Eventually, you might be able to have a prescription that takes into account the fact that your eyes get tired later in the day.

The whole model of how we think about eyeglasses and prescriptions is due for a change, Eiden says: "If it's not us, it's going to be somebody else. It just makes so much sense."

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Machine learning (ML) has been strategic to Amazon from the early years. We are pioneers in areas such as recommendation engines, product search, eCommerce fraud detection, and large-scale optimization of fulfillment center operations. The Generative AI team helps AWS customers accelerate the use of Generative AI to solve business and operational challenges and promote innovation in their organization. As an applied scientist, you are proficient in designing and developing advanced ML models to solve diverse challenges and opportunities. You will be working with terabytes of text, images, and other types of data to solve real-world problems. You'll design and run experiments, research new algorithms, and find new ways of optimizing risk, profitability, and customer experience. We’re looking for talented scientists capable of applying ML algorithms and cutting-edge deep learning (DL) and reinforcement learning approaches to areas such as drug discovery, customer segmentation, fraud prevention, capacity planning, predictive maintenance, pricing optimization, call center analytics, player pose estimation, event detection, and virtual assistant among others. AWS Sales, Marketing, and Global Services (SMGS) is responsible for driving revenue, adoption, and growth from the largest and fastest growing small- and mid-market accounts to enterprise-level customers including public sector. The AWS Global Support team interacts with leading companies and believes that world-class support is critical to customer success. AWS Support also partners with a global list of customers that are building mission-critical applications on top of AWS services. Key job responsibilities The primary responsibilities of this role are to: - Design, develop, and evaluate innovative ML models to solve diverse challenges and opportunities across industries - Interact with customer directly to understand their business problems, and help them with defining and implementing scalable Generative AI solutions to solve them - Work closely with account teams, research scientist teams, and product engineering teams to drive model implementations and new solution About the team About AWS Diverse Experiences AWS values diverse experiences. Even if you do not meet all of the preferred qualifications and skills listed in the job description, we encourage candidates to apply. If your career is just starting, hasn’t followed a traditional path, or includes alternative experiences, don’t let it stop you from applying. Why AWS? Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform. We pioneered cloud computing and never stopped innovating — that’s why customers from the most successful startups to Global 500 companies trust our robust suite of products and services to power their businesses. Inclusive Team Culture Here at AWS, it’s in our nature to learn and be curious. Our employee-led affinity groups foster a culture of inclusion that empower us to be proud of our differences. Ongoing events and learning experiences, including our Conversations on Race and Ethnicity (CORE) and AmazeCon (gender diversity) conferences, inspire us to never stop embracing our uniqueness. Mentorship & Career Growth We’re continuously raising our performance bar as we strive to become Earth’s Best Employer. That’s why you’ll find endless knowledge-sharing, mentorship and other career-advancing resources here to help you develop into a better-rounded professional. Work/Life Balance We value work-life harmony. Achieving success at work should never come at the expense of sacrifices at home, which is why we strive for flexibility as part of our working culture. When we feel supported in the workplace and at home, there’s nothing we can’t achieve in the cloud. We are open to hiring candidates to work out of one of the following locations: Arlington, VA, USA | Atlanta, GA, USA | Austin, TX, USA | Houston, TX, USA | New York, NJ, USA | New York, NY, USA | San Francisco, CA, USA | Santa Clara, CA, USA | Seattle, WA, USA
CN, Shanghai
亚马逊云科技上海人工智能实验室OpenSearch 研发团队正在招募应用科学实习生-多模态检索与生成方向实习生。OpenSearch是一个开源的搜索和数据分析套件, 它旨在为数据密集型应用构建解决方案,内置高性能、开发者友好的工具,并集成了强大的机器学习、数据处理功能,可以为客户提供灵活的数据探索、丰富和可视化功能,帮助客户从复杂的数据中发现有价值的信息。OpenSearch是现有AWS托管服务(AWS OpenSearch)的基础,OpenSearch核心团队负责维护OpenSearch代码库,他们的目标是使OpenSearch安全、高效、可扩展、可扩展并永远开源。 点击下方链接查看申请手册获得更多信息: https://amazonexteu.qualtrics.com/CP/File.php?F=F_55YI0e7rNdeoB6e Key job responsibilities 在这个实习期间,你将有机会: 1. 研究最新的搜索相关性人工智能算法。 2. 探索大模型技术在数据分析与可视化上的应用。 3. 了解主流搜索引擎Lucene的原理和应用。深入了解前沿自然语言处理技术和底层索引性能调优的结合。 4. 学习亚马逊云上的各种云服务。 5. 参与产品需求讨论,提出技术实现方案。 6. 与国内外杰出的开发团队紧密合作,学习代码开发和审查的流程。 We are open to hiring candidates to work out of one of the following locations: Shanghai, CHN