HONG KONG—Adlens, the optical manufacturer and inventor of self-adjustable eyeglasses, has won the Gold Award, the top prize, for its ‘emergensee’ glasses at the Asian Innovation Awards 2011. The Awards, held here yesterday, were presented by The Wall Street Journal Asia in partnership with Credit Suisse.

The Rt Hon. Sir John Major, former prime minister of the U.K, moderated a panel discussion with winners who were selected from among 250 applicants from across Asia. The Awards recognize innovations “that break with conventional processes in creative ways.”

The Adlens ‘emergensee’ are continuously adjustable eyeglasses that can be used to correct near and far vision. Users can quickly and easily determine their own lens power with the turn of a dial. The ‘emergensee’ is low-cost and may be harnessed for distribution during disaster relief. The ‘emergensee’ has been on sale in Japan since April of this year, as a spare pair and as part of medical kits and earthquake preparedness kits. Adlens also donated 1,000 pairs to the refugees in the stricken area outside the nuclear zone after the recent tsunanami.

The eyeglasses employ Alvarez lenses, a type of variable power lens invented by Nobel Prize winning physicist Luis Alvarez. Each lens is comprised of two movable parts that change the lens power when combined and moved over each other. The mechanism used to move the Alvarez lenses parts was invented and patented by the VU University in Amsterdam and the ‘emergensee’ was developed in conjunction with Professor Rob van der Heijde from the University. Dean Butler, global chairman of Adlens commented, “This is a proud moment for our company. The ‘emergensee’ meets a real need for instant vision correction. We will now be working to make it available in other markets around the world.”

Yoshinobu Nakashima, CEO of Adlens Japan added, “The ‘emergensee’ has been immediately useful in Japan after the devastating earthquake and tsunami this year; it provided a solution for those who lost their glasses, allowing them to start re-building their lives. We believe this product has important application for many more emergency situations, and hope that this award will help more people get to know us.”

Credit Suisse, partner to the Asian Innovation Awards 2011, donated one pair of ‘emergensee’ glasses to every guest attending the Awards with all proceeds going to Adlens’ partner charity, Vision for a Nation. This year marks the 12th year of the Asian Innovation Award legacy. Some 256 entries were received from 18 countries and territories in the Asia Pacific Region.