It is getting pretty spooky how quickly science fiction is approaching “science reality.” Researchers at Ghent University in Belgium have been able to produce a spherically curved LCD unit which may find its way into a contact lens. The LCD can handle projected images using wireless connectivity.
The fundamental technology behind this concept already existed to a certain extent, but the researchers at the university’s Center of Microsystems Technology have been able to take it a step further and allow use of the whole surface of the curved lens. “Now that we have established the basic technology, we can start working towards real applications, possibly available in only a few years,” according to Professor Herbert De Smet. That is an impressive, if ambitious, prediction. However, at the rate that technology has been advancing, we are not going to contest that objective at all.
Some potential applications would be remarkably simple, such as lenses that would adjust pigmentation and serve as sunglasses. Other applications might involve conveying text messages or navigation instructions. The possibilities do not stop there, this technology may offer additional methods to correct certain vision impairments by controlling light transmission to the retina. Those that like to influence their own mood may be able to adjust coloration and choose to see the world through rose-colored lenses.
For now, the technology is approaching clarity that we might see on a computer monitor. Of course the real trick is to make all that work, provide means of power, wireless connectivity, while assuring comfort and confidence for the user so that he or she is not concerned about putting all that in their eye in the first place. Check out the video below. It is no wonder why they chose to flash the dollar-sign throughout, if they are able to achieve viable commercial applications in “only a few years,” there will be a lot of money counting going on for sure.