Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Now, contact lens to display emails

London: Imagine reading emails and text messages on your contact lenses which are linked to internet. It may sound a bit utopian, but scientists claim that your imagination could soon turn into a reality. In fact, the futuristic
technology has taken a step nearer, thanks to an international team which claims to have developed a prototype lens that could potentially provide the wearer with hands-free information updates.

The scientists from Washington University in the US and Aalto University in Finland have constructed a computerized contact lens and demonstrated its safety by testing it on live eyes, and there were no signs of adverse side effects. 

At the moment, the contact lens device contains only a single pixel, but the team sees 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 one’s eyes. 

The scientists said the device could overlay computergenerated visual information on to the real world and be of use in gaming devices and navigation systems.
It could also be linked to the user’s body to provide upto-date information on glucose levels, which could prove medically important. 

One major problem to overcome was the fact that the human eye, with its minimum focal distance of several centimetres, cannot resolve objects on a contact lens. 

Any information projected on to the lens would probably appear blurry. 
To combat this, the scientists incorporated a set of Fresnel lenses into the device; these are much thinner and flatter than conventional bulky lenses, and were used to focus the projected image on to the retina.

Scientists at Washington University are a step closer to bringing us all some sweet information displaying contact lenses. The team has been successfully testing prototype lenses on rabbits -- though there are some major caveats here. First, due to limits of circuitry, they can only display a single light-emitting diode at a time. Also, the scientists have yet to figure out a workable energy source -- at present, they need to be within centimeters of a wireless battery. The researchers have big plans, however, including the display of holographic images -- and, no doubt, information about which targets to destroy.


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