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Augmented reality heading to contact lenses

Augmented reality heading to contact lenses
Contact lens, loved by rabbits

Researchers at the University of Washington and Aalto University in Finland have created a new type of contact lens which can contain electronic displays.

The technology has so far been used on rabbits, but scientists believe that the lenses are completely safe for humans.

The lenses incorporate an antenna which picks up power from an external source and then relays information to the contact lens.

Essentially the technology could pave the way for augmented reality in contact lenses and the creators of the lenses are hopeful that the technology could one day be used in gaming.

Live eyes

"We have demonstrated the operation of a contact lens display powered by a remote radio frequency transmitter in free space and on a live rabbit," said Babak Praviz, who was part of the team which created the contact lens.

"This verifies that antennas, radio chips, control circuitry, and micrometre-scale light sources can be integrated into a contact lens and operated on live eyes."

Although the technology has been successfully tested, it is still a long way from being used.

For a start, the lenses only work if the outside power source is close enough to the lenses; at the moment, it has to be just 2cm away.

To make sure that you can see the information being displayed, the lenses have had to be adapted so that the user can actually see the information close up. This has meant the thinner and flatter lenses have had to be created.

At the moment, just one LED has been powered by the technology but it is thought that in the future (as in the future of the future when these lenses will actually be released), flexible lenses could well be created that contain hundreds more pixels.

You can read all about the new lenses here.

Via The Register