July 25 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
A Norfolk farmer has been inundated with phone calls from desperate travel sickness sufferers since sunglasses he invented to relieve the misery were featured on television.
Tim Flaxman, 53, who runs a livery farm in Burgh Castle, near Great Yarmouth, said his life had been blighted by motion sickness until he discovered one night while travelling on the London Underground after visiting a theatre that if he covered one eye he did not feel ill.
The story of how he spent 10 years and £85,000 designing and developing a special pair of glasses with one eyepiece so opaque the wearer cannot see movement through it was told on Sunday night on a programme Make Me a Millionaire Inventor on the Pick channel.
Mr Flaxman, who also runs a Caravan Club site, said: “Since the programme I have had lots of phone calls from sufferers offering to take part in trials.”
He said he had collated all the information and forthcoming trials could include one with coach passengers and another with offshore windfarm workers braving the sea swell to inspect windfarms.
His glasses, called TravelShades, are perfectly symmetrical so the wearer can change the eye that is blocked simply by turning the glasses upside down.
He said: “It has liberated me. I have flown to France, travelled round Europe in the back of a car and tested them at sea. I am thrilled.”
Previously, motion sickness had blighted his life and he recalled the “awful experience” of going on a boat to watch the seals on Scroby Sands.
He said: “There were careers I could not even consider. My father was a fireman and I might have liked to follow in his footsteps.”
Motion sickness is caused by an imbalance between what the body is experiencing and the visual signals sent to the brain; the glasses stop the conflicting signals by closing down one source, cutting vision from 3D to 2D so reducing the perception of movement.
Mr Flaxman, who had previously tried all manner of other ‘cures’, such as wearing magnetic bracelets, is now working with a design company and manufacturing business to market the glasses.
However, he said: “It is still too early to tell if the programme’s title will come true!”