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Bionic contact lenses are a crystal clear idea

Tuesday, 6 December 2011 | By Michelle Hammond

A new generation of contact lenses could take video gaming to a whole new level, thanks to a team at the University of Washington.

 

 

 

Bionic lenses that project emails in front of the eyes have already been tested successfully on rabbits. However, they could eventually allow humans to see images as well as texts.

 

 

The University of Washington team only worked with one pixel on the lenses, but envisages hundreds more to produce complex holographic images.

 

For example, drivers could wear them to see journey directions or their vehicle’s speed projected onto the windscreen.

 

 

The lenses could work wonders for the video gaming industry, and could also provide up-to-date medical information, like blood sugar levels, by linking to biosensors in the wearer’s body.

 

 

“Our next goal is to incorporate some predetermined text in the contact lens,” lead researcher Professor Babak Parviz says.

 

But Dr Parvis and his team are not the only scientists working on this type of technology.

 

 

Swiss company Sensimed has brought to market a smart contact lens that uses inbuilt computer technology to monitor pressure inside the eye to keep tabs on the eye condition glaucoma.

 

 

This suggests there is an opportunity for the right entrepreneur to get involved and take this type of technology even further.