Contact lenses with circuits for superhuman vision

Can you imagine having screen directly on your eye like movie characters from the Terminator or Bionic Woman? Maybe not for having virtual crosshairs or zoom in on far-off scenes, but for more practical use like having virtual displays for visual aids to help vision-impaired people, holographic driving control panels and even as a way to surf the Web on the go. The device to make this happen may be familiar. Engineers at the University of Washington have for the first time used manufacturing techniques at microscopic scales to combine a flexible, biologically safe contact lens with an imprinted electronic circuit and lights. There are many possible uses for virtual displays. Drivers or pilots could see a vehicle’s speed projected onto the windshield. Video-game companies could use the contact lenses to completely immerse players in a virtual world without restricting their range of motion. And for communications, people on the go could surf the Internet on a midair virtual display screen that only they would be able to see. The prototype device contains an electric circuit as well as red light-emitting diodes for a display, though it does not yet light up. The lenses were tested on rabbits for up…

Continue reading