There have been some exciting developments about contact lenses of late. Scientists have been successful in designing smart lenses which can monitor glucose levels of diabetes patients. Even Google took interest and announced the creation of a set of contact lenses that have an in-built camera. Now, The Switzerland-based researchers are now designing magnifying contact lenses which are capable of zooming only using a wink.
The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology revealed the new concept in California at the American Association of the Advancement of Science meeting. The visual aid comprises smart glasses and a set of telescopic lenses. This set-up can tell apart winks and blinks which account for normal and zoomed vision. These are said to be helpful for people who are visually impaired.
These lenses are made-up of rigid material which makes them seem slightly larger than the usual ones as they cover the white region of the eye. Aluminium mirrors inside the 1.55 mm wide lenses reflect light and magnify the image by about 2.8 times its size. As the user winks, the signal is blocked upon which a polarized filter guides all the light in the direction of the telescopic portion. Regaining normal vision requires winking the left eye.
The telescopes within the lenses were initially funded by DARPA which were to be used as slim cameras with their aerial drones.Later, they were transformed into vision enhancing system. The initial models limited the amount of air reaching the eye so they could only be worn for short periods.
Although the team behind the system has made many major improvements since the first versions, it hasn't been tested in humans and the amount of time they can be worn is still restricted, so it will unfortunately be a while before we see them on the market.
We hope to see the product available in the markets as soon as possible. This technology will pull the human evolution into a new era. "Bionic humans" with far reaching capabilities.