Telescopic Contact Lenses Zoom In With a Wink of the Eye

Swiss researchers have created a extreme-tech contact lens that gives wearers a telescopic view of the world, and paired it with smart glasses which will modify the view with a straightforward wink. However it isn’t for birdwatchers or jewel appraisers. It’s for the tons of of hundreds of people with impaired imaginative and prescient, notably macular degeneration, that often can’t be improved by contact lenses.

The prototype lens is certainly a tiny assemblage of smaller lenses and even smaller mirrors, and provide a magnification difficulty of two.8x. They’re moreover perforated with tiny air channels, allowing air to achieve the eye. Telescopic lenses like this can be implanted or positioned on glasses, nevertheless every decisions have essential drawbacks — a contact that does the equivalent issue is usually a boon to many.

Telescopic Contact Lenses Zoom In With a Wink of the EyeEric Tremblay / Joe Ford / EPFL
The telescopic contact lens prototype, with 1 / four for scale.

Perhaps in all probability probably the most spectacular half, however, is the smart glasses that work in tandem with the contacts. These glasses have sensors inbuilt to detect winks (nevertheless not blinks), letting the wearer activate or off the magnification. Wink your correct eye, and solely positive polarized delicate will transfer by way of the glasses and get in contact with lens, giving a telescopic view — wink your left eye, and another way polarized delicate is permitted via a singular part of the lens, returning imaginative and prescient to common.

The DARPA-funded problem, led by Eric Tremblay on the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, has been underway since 2013. The lens and glasses are nonetheless in prototype sort, nevertheless might probably be out there available on the market inside the subsequent few years, providing a lot of the imaginative and prescient-impaired with a flexible and extremely efficient reply.

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—Devin Coldewey
First revealed February 13 2015, 2:36 PM