Heated eyeglasses for Age of Faith (in masks)?

We in the American Church of Shutdown put our faith in masks, for they shall preserve us from the coronaplague, even as they have preserved those in Peru, Spain, France, and other countries with strict mask laws and high compliance rates.

In New England, however, now that the weather is cold, mask+eyeglasses = fog.

What about this idea: heated eyeglasses to prevent fogging. Bose managed to get some batteries into ordinary-looking eyeglasses (“Frames”). Is it hopeless to imagine that sufficient battery power could be mustered to heat the lenses for as much time as people spend outdoors in the fall, winter, and early spring?

Separately, now that #Science tells us that coronaplague is spread via aerosols, will people who directly experience eyeglass fogging begin to develop heretical beliefs that masking the general population might be ineffective against the spread of Covid-19?


  • battery-powered face mask (to reduce breathing effort) from LG with 8-hour battery life
  • U.S. Patent 5,319,397, “Defogging eyeglasses”: Eyeglasses worn in winter weather conditions are subject to fogging due to condensation of water vapor. A method of removing condensation from eyeglasses is provided. The method involves heating the lenses of the eyeglasses, by making the lenses a part of an electrical circuit. Electric current is supplied to the electric circuit from a power source external to the eyeglasses. The size and weight of the power source may be minimized by utilizing a timer or a power regulator. A smaller power source is also made possible by selectively heating the lenses, applying more power in the area of the lenses most likely to experience fogging. (this guy stole my idea, it seems, with this filed-in-1992 patent, and there is a massive battery dongle)

11 thoughts on “Heated eyeglasses for Age of Faith (in masks)?

  1. Well fogging is condensation of water vapor in exhaled breath on cold glasses, not deposition of droplets or aerosols, no? So regardless of the opinion on masking, your empirical observation regarding fogging of glasses seems to be irrelevant to debate. I think everybody agrees that masks are not gas tight, and water vapor is a gas.

    • Andrea: If water vapor is escaping from the gap at the top of the mask, thus fogging up the glasses, why wouldn’t virus-containing aerosols also be escaping? Isn’t my apparently poorly fitting mask functioning like a mask with an exhaust valve, which we are told are not effective in reducing coronaplague (unlike regular masks, which have eliminated Covid-19 after months of masking in Peru, Spain, France, California, Hawaii, etc.)?

    • @phil it could be working that way, especially if it is ill fitting (e.g. they didn’t bend the metal strip to conform to the nose).
      But the fogging itself doesn’t prove aerosol escape. In practice I agree that most masks are not fitted well.

      In practice the advantages of masks, as I understand them, are more relevant at the population level than individual. E.g. a decrease of half in the probability of contracting Covid is not very reassuring if you are an 80 year old cancer survivor.

      But if a certain population has an R of 1.8, masking would bring it to 0.9, which would mean slow decline of cases instead of exponential increase.

      Even if some amount of viruses escapes through aerosols, the combination of some being caught going out, and some being caught going in might be enough to keep R<1.

  2. There used to be a fog proof coating you could spray on. Since everyone’s living in Calif*, it’s less of a problem. Guess Biden will add government mandated lasik to the next healthcare mandates.

  3. @Andrea @Philg: It’s not irrelevant to the debate. Today I sat in the waiting room of a rather large practice in Massachusetts with about 10 other souls awaiting treatment. All masked of course, with strict hand-sanitizing, social distancing and temperature-taking at the door. Half the seats in the room cordoned off and every spare inch of wall space festooned with various COVID bulletins. Most of the patients were older than me, some of them geriatric and feeble. Two of them were trying gamely to fill out forms attached to a clipboard while wearing the masks and glasses and both of them had to dismount their glasses a couple of times due to fogging.

    Of course then they took out a handkerchief or a tissue and wiped off the glasses which contained the condensed droplets of whatever they had just breathed past their masks. So there went the hand sanitization. Nobody wiped down the chairs they were sitting in afterward.

    So some kind of anti-fog treatment is in order. I don’t wear glasses but there are products available. It makes sense – I have used RainX products on my car in the past.



    I think older folks want something simple they don’t have to pay a lot of money for, but who knows, Philip: maybe someone could get Medicare to pay for the battery-heated glasses idea and make a small fortune. You’d need a study to prove the effectiveness and get some doctors on board.

  4. I wear glasses and I think they get foggy if I wear the mask incorrectly and leave too large of a gap around the nose. For example, there is no fogging if I use a KN95. For a cloth mask, tighten it does the trick for me.

  5. Local color on my doctor trip story today:

    One of the older patients waiting in the room with me had the same first name and appointment time with a different doctor. The NP opened the door and called: “Alex?” So I got up and walked over to the door and right behind me, almost yelling, looking a little frantic, was the older fellow: “I am Alexander!”

    Then the NP asked for the last name and she was calling him, not me. I said to the old fellow: “Oh, I’m sorry, I’m Alex too.”

    So I went back to my seat, 2 meters from his wife, a sturdy looking older woman with bright eyes and a concerned expression on her face. Previously I had heard them speaking to each other in Russian. I turned to her and said:

    “Where are you from?”

    “We’re from Russia.”

    “That’s wonderful. When did you come to America?”

    “In 1989!”

    I said: “Well, I certainly didn’t mean to take your husband’s place in line, please forgive me, tell him it’s just because we share the same first name.”

    She said: “You have to understand, he’s an older man, and in the Soviet Union we had to push in lines for everything.”

    I said: “I do understand. I’m glad we’re in Massachusetts together now!”


    Very sweet lady.

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