Scientists Are Working On Bionic Contact Lenses That Stream Real-Time Information In Front Of The Eyes
Scientists announced that a type of contact lenses that will project of images in front of the eyes could be soon available to the population.
Bionic contact lenses were a result of a collaboration between researchers at the University of Washington and the University of Aalto, Finland. They announced that the lenses have obtained good results during animal testing.
Technology will allow those who use contact lenses to read these texts and e-mails that “float” in front of their eyes or to “improve” the 3D images generated by a computer. Scientists working are now working on a lens design that is safe to be implemented in humans. However, researchers still face some problems with the power supply of the device. The prototype developed by researchers is working only when the wireless battery is a few centimeters away from the device. Researchers are optimistic that they will be able to improve the device, now that tests on rabbits have shown that the lens does not have dangerous adverse health effects.
Scientists say that these lenses could be used by drivers, allowing them to see their journey and moving speed projected on the car’s windshield. Also, contact lenses could be used for virtual games, and connecting them to the biosensors in the patient’s body may allow them to display medical data such as blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
Professor Babak Praviz, research team leader, revealed his team’s next goal: “Now we are working to introduce a pre-programmed text in the lens”.
Designing the contact lens, researchers had to use metal layers with a thickness of only a few nanometers, or 1,000 times thinner than a human hair. They also used LEDs with a maximum diameter of 0.3 millimeters.
Researchers from doctor’s Praviz team are not the only scientists working to develop this type technology. A Swiss company, Sensimed, already launched on the market so-called “smart contact lenses”, which uses a chip to monitor intraocular pressure, helping patients suffering from glaucoma.
Arnaud Bertsch, researcher at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and one of the specialists who worked with the Sensimed company , commented that five years ago this type of technology seemed detached from SF movies, but can become reality soon. Bertsch believes that contact lenses, 10 years from now will be fully computerized displays, and huge steps have been already made in terms of miniaturization.