First Smart Soft Contact Lens Aims To Give You More Foresight In Everyday Tasks
By Mikelle Leow, 10 Jan 2022
You’ve seen technology of this ilk in sci-fi films. Cyborgs scan their surroundings to get more data of subjects, and characters put on special suits that grant them bionic vision. Now, it’s inching closer to reality.
At CES 2022, eyewear tech firm InWith Corporation announced what it claims to be the first-ever smart soft contact lenses. These can be applied directly on the retinas to give the wearer real-time insight on their surroundings via augmented reality.
Made possible thanks to a three-year, US$9 million funding from the Department of Energy’s Office of Biological and Environmental Research, the technology aims to give developers the option to plant tiny augmented visual display chips, or microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), into regular soft hydrogel contact lenses, eliminating the need for bulky headsets or even your smartphone to obtain real-time information.
The company is calling these ‘Metaverse Contact Lenses’ and has filed trademarks for “Metaverse Contacts” and “Metaverse Lens” in the US Patent and Trademark Office.
The firm’s CEO Michael Hayes told CNET that the contact lenses can inform the wearer the speed limit of the road they’re on, or where the next exit is, for instance.
In addition, those with presbyopia, an age-related eye condition that makes nearby objects appear blurry, can use the lenses to auto-adjust their vision, instead of relying on reading glasses. According to Ophthalmology Times, almost half of the US population has this condition.
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