Engineers at the University of Washington have managed to create a flexible, biologically safe contact lens with an imprinted electronic circuit and lights:
There are many possible uses for virtual displays. Drivers or pilots could see a vehicle’s speed projected onto the windshield. Video-game companies could use the contact lenses to completely immerse players in a virtual world without restricting their range of motion. And for communications, people on the go could surf the Internet on a midair virtual display screen that only they would be able to see.
And, the engineers note, people may find many other applications they haven’t even thought of yet. (Via EurekAlert.)
So far only rabbits have worn the prototype, with no ill effects after up to twenty minutes. The engineers plan to add wireless communication to and from the lens, along with built-on solar cells and the capability to use radio-frequency power. The prototype doesn’t light up, but a version with a basic display showing a few pixels could be operational soon.
(Image: University of Washington.)