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Should you wait for glasses until the lenses arrive?

Menno van Doorn
July 30, 2013

+31 6 51 27 09 85 Blog: www.vint.sogeti.comSoon people will start asking you why you don’t wear Goggle Glasses. The short answer is of course that you’re waiting for connected contact lenses. But how long should you wait for that and what are you waiting for? Belgian scientists from the University of Gent have developed a spherical liquid crystal display (LCD) that can be inserted into a contact lens to display letters and symbols. But it can only display rudimentary patterns, similar to an electronic pocket calculator for now, but they’ve imagined plenty of interesting future uses.  More promising is Innovega’s augmented tech lenses, currently being developed by DARPA researchers at Washington-based Innovega iOptiks. These are contact lenses that enhance normal vision by allowing a wearer to view virtual and augmented reality images without the need for bulky apparatus, shown here in the video: GoogleGlassesVSLenses These new contact lenses allow users to focus simultaneously on objects that are close up and far away.  This could improve ability to use tiny portable displays while sill interacting with the surrounding environment. The University of Washington is working on lenses, completed with a built-in radio and antenna. The current version of the lens contains one pixel of information, but researchers believe it could “one day” display short emails and other information directly before the eye. Lenses “So we’re trying to convert contact lenses from relatively simple pieces of plastic or polymer to a functional system – something that may even someday resemble the complexity of a cellular phone,” said Babak Parviz, Ph.D., associate professor of electrical engineering. A group of chemical engineers at the South Korean  Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, mounted a light-emitting diode on an off-the-shelf soft contact lens, using a material the researchers developed: a transparent, highly conductive, and stretchy mix of graphene and silver nanowires.

About the author

Director and Trend Analyst VINT | Netherlands
Menno is Director of the Sogeti Research Institute for the Analysis of New Technology (VINT). He mixes personal life experiences with the findings of the 19 years of research done at the VINT Research Institute. Menno has co-authored many books on the impact of new technology on business and society.


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