14.11.2008

When sci-fi meets vision care

When sci-fi meets vision care

A new type of contact lens has been designed that allows the wearer access to maps, images and other handy bits of information.

Babak Parviz"s so-called bionic contact lens was recently highlighted by Time magazine as one of the best inventions of 2008.

The assistant professor of engineering worked with colleagues at the University of Washington to bring the world of cyberpunk to life with this gadget.

His contact lens incorporates a circuit - a nanometer-thick metal coated by the usual materials contact lenses are made from, connected to miniature light-emitting diodes (LEDs) which - in theory - can be used to make the images on the retina of the eye.

Still in the experimental stage, these contact lenses have not yet been tested on humans and rabbits can only wear them for about 20 minutes without discomfort.

Ironically, Discover magazine notes the "one thing these contact lenses can"t do? Fix your eyesight".

With all that technology it is doubtful that these bionic accessories would be as cost-effective as wearing 1 Day Acuvue.

by Emily Tait


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