Imagine having the power to get more out of the world. To just look at, say, a restaurant from across the street and see a menu in front of your eyes, along with reviews. Imagine being able to get the news in front of you anywhere, at any time, or taking a picture just by blinking. Well, that future is almost here, as a number of companies have started to develop smart contact lenses.
These technological lenses contain tiny microchips and are powered by radio waves. Some are designed to project an overlay, or heads-up display (HUD) in front of your vision to add context to the things you’re seeing. Others are designed to help you focus your vision and keep tabs on your health by detecting the contents of your tears.
Sony’s Smart Lens
- Take pictures
- Wireless power
- Controlled by blinking
Sony have filed a patent to create a contact lens capable of recording video and capturing images with just a blink of an eye. Imagine how they’re going to fit a whole movie camera into your eye and still give you enough room to see! The lens will also feature a zoom and autofocus feature. With no batteries, the lens will be powered wirelessly. Possibly by radio waves, electromagnetic induction, or something similar.
Samsung’s Clever Contacts
- Motion sensors
- Displays images and video onto your vision
Samsung have got a patent in Korea to make a smart contact lens that not only takes pictures, but displays images and videos in front of your eyes. Imagine having your sat nav in your face while you wander around a new city, showing you where to go with a big red arrow pointing you the right way. The lenses could also give you more information on something just by looking at it. According to the patent, there will be some wiring, so this lens might not charge wirelessly.
Google’s Apology For The Worst. Glasses. Ever.
- Autofocus vision
- Monitor vitals
The Google team is working with Swiss drug company Novartis to create a lens that can help correct vision and monitor your health. The first iteration will be for diabetics. It will be able to measure glucose levels from the tear fluid in the eye and wirelessly transmit the data to a smart phone. This will be a huge jump forward for diabetics who currently have to prick their finger for a blood reading as many as ten times a day. The lens will be equipped with non-invasive sensors, microchips and other miniaturised electronics – all of which are presumably mainly translucent.
The Ocumetics Bionic Lens
- Vision in HD
- 20/20 vision for all
- Never EVER get cataracts
Created by Dr Garth Webb, the bionic lens needs to be surgically inserted into the eye. While by far the most invasive of the lenses so far, these provide a range of fantastic eye health benefits. Since they replace your natural lenses and cannot decay, you would never get cataracts. The lens will give you 20/20 vision as standard, but also offer up to 3 times more quality of vision.
Smart contact lenses are the biggest innovation in vision and augmented reality ever. We can’t wait to see how this technology develops and enriches our lives.