12.11.2009

Contact lenses could allow super-human vision

Contact lenses could allow super-human vision

By Adrian Galbreth

A contact lens with built-in circuits that allow the wearer to see graphics on top of the world around them have been developed.

The flexible, biologically-safe contact lens complete with electronic circuit and lights has been created by engineers at the University of Washington.

Researchers worked with pieces of metal about one-thousandth the width of a human hair and lights one-third of a millimetre across to create a prototype lens that has been safely tested on rabbits.

Babak Parviz, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at the University of Washington, said that, although the prototype contact lens does not correct the wearer"s vision, the technology could be used on a corrective lens.

Mr Parviz said: "Looking through a completed lens, you would see what the display is generating superimposed on the world outside."

Currently the contact lens does not light up but a display involving a few pixels could be ready soon, according to Mr Parviz, making a world of bionic Terminator-like eyes a possibility.

This is one of a number of new technological developments for contact lenses that have been in the news, with scientists in Singapore recently developing light-responsive lenses.

by Martin Burns


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