Contact Lenses with an LCD display
Ghent University’s centre of microsystems technology has developed a spherical curved LCD display which can be embedded in contact lenses and handle projected images using wireless technology.
“Now that we have established the basic technology, we can start working towards real applications, possibly available in only a few years,” said Professor Herbert De Smet.
“This is not science fiction,” said Jelle De Smet, the chief researcher on the project, who believes commercial applications for the lenses will be available within five years.
“This will never replace the cinema screen for films. But for specific applications it may be interesting to show images such as road directions or projecting text messages from our smart phones straight to our eye.”
The innovation is the first step towards “fully pixelated contact lens displays” with the same detail as a television screen.
Other applications for the technology include:
- One pixel, fully covered contact lens acting as adaptable sunglasses.
- Controlling the light transmission toward the eye’s retina in case of a damaged iris for medical purposes.
- Changing the colour of the iris allowing the user to change it to suit their mood.
It is still early days for the technology, but there is an awful lot of potential.