Updated on February 5, 2024


Created on July 17, 2014


Upcoming Update

OneDollarGlasses are low-cost corrective lenses.

Developed By
  1. OneDollarGlasses
Tested By
  • Rwanda Standards Board (RSB)
Content Partners


Product Description

These glasses are designed to be low cost for people who cannot otherwise afford corrective lenses.

Target SDGs

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being

Market Suggested Retail Price


Target Users (Target Impact Group)


Distributors / Implementing Organizations

- Partner NGOs:  Grameen Health Care, Grameen Kalyan (Bangladesh), AMPO (Burkina Faso), Horizon de l'Espoir / WEMA Home (Benin); Hostelling International (Bolivia); Renovatio / Enactus Insper (Brasil) - District Hospitals, Optometrists, Ophthalmologists - Local structures of OneDollarGlasses Assosiation.

Competitive Landscape

Direct competitors include Adspecs and Eyejusters.

Manufacturing/Building Method

People get trained on the bending machines. One person can produce about 16 frames per day.- approx 15 min per frame. Centralized quality assurance of frames. According to the number of eyeglasses distributed, the number of manufacturers may be increased. They provide a partner organization in each country with a list of characteristics, and the partner chooses people to attend the two to three week training. Of the people who begin the training, around 30% are well-suited for the job.

Intellectural Property Type

Select Type

User Provision Model

These glasses are distributed by NGOs, hospitals, and other organizations that provide vision correction services. They are manufactured by local people on a bending machine. These people are trained by OneDollarGlasses and partner organizations to be mobile opticians and to make and sell these glasses.

Distributions to Date Status

Over 10,000 pairs of glasses have been distributed to date.

Lens technology (type)

Polycarbonate lens with hardened surface, elliptic 45×28 mm

Near vision power range

+6 -> 0 D

Distance vision power range

0 -> -6 D

Glasses weight (g)


Frame dimensions (mm)

56-70mm. Three predefined sizes may be adapted to local requirements

UV protection (ray type blocked)

UVB and most UVA rays

Frame features to adjust to face

– Bridge size variable
– Length of side pieces variable
– Length and shape of temples are fully adjustable

Minimum age of user (years)

5 years

Readjustable (yes/no)

Yes. Screwless frame.

Frame material

Stainless spring steel wire; Shrink tubing from Polyolefine

Design Specifications

The spectacle frames consist of a lightweight and flexible frame made of extremely robust, rustproof and hypoallergenic spring steel wire (1 mm). Different physiognomies can be taken into account individually when bending the frame. The elliptical polished, unbreakable lenses are given the notches and steps for fastening in the spectacle frames on the milling attachment and can be inserted in no time. Heat-shrinkable sleeves made of hypoallergenic plastic on the ear piece ends increase the wearing comfort of the glasses. Because the glasses have very little weight, they do not require nosebridges. Two coloured glass pearls give each pair of glasses its own personal design.

Product Schematics

Technical Support

Sellers are trained to adjust temples to the face of the patient. Manufacturers are trained until they are able to produce frames according to quality criteria. Technical support available, but maintenance is not necessary.

Replacement Components

Replacement components are not available.



Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

Targets include:

  •  lightweight, flexible and stable frames
  • rust-free spring steel wire
  • dermatologically safe
  • can be made in child and adult sizes

Vetted Performance Status



Lenses and frames are almost unbreakable. Wire and shrink tubing are from skin friendly material. UV protection available. Hence, OneDollarGlasses pose little to no risk to their users.

Complementary Technical Systems


Academic Research and References

Smith K, Weissberg E, Travison TG. “Alternative Methods of Refraction: A Comparison of Three Techniques.”  Optom Vis Sci. (2010)



Siemens. “OneDollarGlasses.” Empowering People Network, 2021.

Compliance with regulations

The One Dollar glasses meets all standards of the Rwandan (RBS) and the Ministry of Health.

Evaluation methods

XRF Spectrometry: * DIN EN ISO 14889 : 2003 * DIN EN ISO 8980-1 : 2004 * DIN EN ISO 8980-3 : 2005

Other Information


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