Researchers have developed contacts that project information
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/19/2012 -- A way to convert contact lenses into liquid crystal display screens has been developed by researchers in Belgium, paving the way for contact wearers to see projected information from their lenses.
The research, conducted at Ghent University, could have a significant effect on technology in both the medical and retail fields, affecting areas as diverse as medicine and cosmetics.
In previous attempts, researchers were able to achieve image display through contacts, but only at a few pixels limited to a small area of the contact lens. The new research, using technology developed by a team led by Herbert De Smet, utilizes the entire area on the lens using a special type of material created in the laboratory.
The possibilities are endless for this type of technology, according to De Smet. This technology could allow contact lens wearers to read text messages projected right onto their lenses, along with other information, such as driving directions.
Major technology companies, such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft, have already begun research into a type of eyeglasses that could house a built-in computer. The contact lens technology could be a logical next step in the process.
There are numerous medical implications for the technology as well, such as the development of adaptable sunglasses that could reduce sunlight-related eye problems.
For the cosmetics industry, the projection by the lens could turn the eye’s iris into any color that the user wanted, meaning wearers would only need to purchase one set of contacts in order to change their eye color rather than several.
Human use of this technology is still off in the future. According to researchers that while the technology exists to place images on the lens, developers still need to come up with a way to make the brain think the image is farther away from the eye than it really is.
The only thing that researchers, having apparently been influenced by Saturday morning cartoons, have been able to project onto the lenses is a dollar sign.
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