We’re getting closer to a world in which a heads-up display could be built right into your contact lenses. If you watch Torchwood, you’ll be used to seeing Gwen Cooper wearing contact lenses that send information back to the Torwchood computers.
Scientists at the University of Washington and Aalto University, Finland, have developed a prototype contact lens that could potentially provide the wearer with hands-free information updates.
With the discovery, the scientists take a step closer to realising the streaming of real-time information across our field of vision.
At the moment, the contact lens device contains only a single-pixel but the researchers see this as a “proof-of-concept” for producing lenses with multiple pixels which, in their hundreds, could be used to display short emails and text messages right before your eyes.
The device could overlay computer-generated visual information onto the real world and be of use in gaming devices and navigation systems.nnThe problem with “reading” information off of a contact lens is that it would be too close to the eye, nearer than the minimum focal distance, so it would appear blurry.
To sort that out, the researchers used Fresnel lenses, which are thinner and flatter than ordinary lenses, to focus the projected image onto the retina.
After testing the contact lens in free space, the lenses were tested on a rabbit to examine the effects it produces on the cornea. Eye surgeons studied the health of the eye by employing bio-microscopy, and the experiment proved to be successful.