Bionic Eyes

Conventional contact lenses are polymers formed in specific shapes to correct faulty vision. To turn such a lens into a functional system, researchers are integrating control circuits, communication circuits, and miniature antennas into the lens using custom-built optoelectronic components. Those components will eventually include hundreds of LEDs, which will form images in front of the eye, such as words, charts, and photographs. Much of the hardware is semitransparent so that wearers can navigate their surroundings without crashing into them or becoming disoriented. In all likelihood, a separate, portable device will relay displayable information to the lens’s control circuit, which will operate the optoelectronics in the lens. Incorporating heads up displays inside contact lenses could profoundly change we perceive the reality and interact with each other. Other researchers are trying to make this a reality without any secondary device. So far, the research team led by doctor Babak Parviz are on the very early stage of developing true bionic lens display. Powered and controlled by radio waves from the device below, the single pixel display is visible as blue dot located right in the middle of the lens. Recently, the team has gone up to eight pixels and was able to reproduce symbols.


Original sources: (09/2009) (12/03/2012)