Computerized Contact Lenses Could Enable In-Eye Augmented Reality
Over past 125 years, contact lenses have come a long way. What started off as relatively thick brown glass eye coverings first created by German ophthalmologist Adolf Fick has evolved into biosensor-laden polymer lenses that can measure eye movement, glucose concentrations in tears and intraocular pressure. Now a team of researchers is investigating whether the integration of light-emitting diodes (LEDs), circuitry and antennas into modified contact lenses can transform them into miniature augmented reality displays.
University of Washington associate electrical engineering professor Babak Parviz and his colleagues are starting off modestly. In the Institute of Physics Publishing’s Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering on Tuesday (pdf), they report having developed a contact lens that when worn can display a single pixel to the wearer. The ultimate goal is to create a multipixel display that would let the wearer view digital text and images over his or her view of the physical world without so much as batting an eyelash.