Innovation: move over Google Glass, here comes the contact lens display

06 Dec, 2012



What comes after Google Glass? Probably contact lenses that can project images in your eye. A Belgian laboratory presented the first LCD contact lens display yesterday, it announced. There are already LED contact lenses out there, but they are limited to a few small pixels. The LCD based tech that the Centre of Microsystems Technology developed allows the entire display surface to be used.

The uses can be varied: the lens could turn darker to act as a sunglass – to protect the eyes of people with damaged irises, for instance. Or they could be used cosmetically – hypnotic Ren and Stimpy eyes, cat eyes, you name it.

It can – as the photo shows – also display dollar signs to the people you are talking to (according to the research team, it’s a little reference to cartoon figures that get dollar signs in their eyes). For the time being, the patterns are “quite rudimentary”, comparable to what you get from a pocket calculator.

Also, at this point in the research, it’s not possible yet to display images to the wearer, the press release warns. The human eye simply can’t focus on an object this close. So that augmented reality, heads up display that would show your health and the amount of ammo left in your clip is still a few years out. But the team hopes to start working on “real applications, possibly available in only a few years time.” 

Watch a video of the technology: 

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Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).

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