A New Way to Read With Your Eyes

Say, can you see?
The future is here...again. Researchers at the University of Washington are working to develop contact lenses that can project data directly in front of the eyes, and test results look promising.  The idea is that your emails, say, can be projected onto the lens and you can read them there, without a handheld or lap-held device.

The eye-reader device works like this: An LED measuring one third of a millimeter across is incorporated into the micro-circuitry of the lens.  Researchers claim the components can be integrated on the lens without obstructing the wearer's view.

Microcircuits are not the greenest item ever manufactured, but at least they are small.  A microcircuit is made from processes involving inorganic materials, toxic chemicals and layers of metal just nanometers thick (a human hair is about 100,000 nanometers wide.)

Power to the pupil  Of course, technology like this hinges on one thing; a power source.  As of now the device works wirelessly, by picking up radio waves from a nearby source via wireless energy transfer. Moving forward, lead researcher Dr. Babak Parviz sees the lens powered by users’ cell phones.

Another issue is the focal point of the human eye. Normally humans can only see an object if they are a few centimeters from the eye itself. Dr. Parviz and his team are working with a researchers at Aalto University in Finland, who have adapted the lens to have a shortened focal distance.

Regulation?  Regulating this product will be interesting. It might fall under the electronics category, making it subject to RoHS.  As with everything else, it's an article and therefore governed by REACH.  Nanomaterial standards, TSCA, and various health & safety agencies will be interested as well.

Once functional the device has unlimited potential, from watching television to surfing the web. A Swiss company has already developed a smart contact lens that can monitor the pressure inside of a glaucoma patient's eye.

For more information try: http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-11-terminator-style-info-vision-reality.html

Image courtesy FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Kathleen Hurleycircuit, eye