Have you ever dreamed of “zooming” on an object with a simple wink? This could become a reality due to the unique telescopic contact lenses which provide you the power to zoom your vision 2,8 times.
More than a gadget, these contact lenses, still in the prototype stage, could be useful for people with visual impairment, which affects some 285 million people worldwide and 1,5 million Canadians.
The prototype was presented by Eric Tremblay from the Swiss University “École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne” at the annual meeting “American Association for the Advancement of Science” (AAAS), in San Jose (United States).
With 1.55 mm thick, these rigid lenses are larger than conventional lenses and cannot be worn yet. Within the center of the lenses, a ring of tiny aluminum mirrors bounces light around, increasing the perceived size of objects and magnifying the view 2.8 times. It is similar to looking through low-magnification binoculars.
How does it operate to switch between zoomed and normal view? The user winks the right eye for magnification by activating a polarized filter which guides light towards the telescopic part, while winks his left eye cut the filter and restores the original vision. These contact lenses work in coordination with special glasses. A small detector placed on the glasses, captures the movements of the eyelid. Its setting distinguishes between winks for controlling the zoom and the natural winks, allowing users to switch between magnified and normal vision.
“At this point this is still research, but we are hopeful it will eventually become a real option for people with low vision and age-related macular degeneration (AMD),” said Eric Tremblay, the project director.
Sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), these lenses could also be used to serve as a form of bionic vision for soldiers.
Here are two articles related to this topic that you might be interested in :
- Vision Correcting Displays: Say Goodbye to your Glasses!
- After the “Google Glass” smart contact lenses are coming !