Contact Lens with a Pixel


I’m not allowed to read science fiction. I get too giddy with the possibilities that are nearly available now! Rainbows End is a perfect example. I loved Rainbows End, but I immediately wanted to start creating clothing that could interpret muscle twitches into text messages. But then work got in the way. It’s probably better to let the professionals do their work than my hacking…

But another technology of the book that seemed even further into the future recently popped up. Contact lenses that can overlay information onto the eye are a simple enough idea to write about. Augmented reality sounds fabulous, but I know there’s a ton of mechanical, electrical, and biological problems to overcome to actually get this sci-fi technology working.

http://www.sparkfun.com/tutorial/news/Contact%20Lens.jpg

And then a SparkFun customer kicked this news report from Reuters our way (via our feedback form, thanks Mike!). Neat stuff. They’ve achieved exactly what we all do every new development platform we play with - make it blink! They’ve got a contact lens that blinks a single pixel. Not too shabby.

Ben Gruber (the reporter) does a very respectable job of explaining the technology in ~2 minutes. Not an easy task. He does a great job of explaining that the technology is ‘very much in infancy’ - rare reporting skills in a time of loud media. Thanks Ben!

It’s also kind of cool to see a SparkFun breakout board mixed in there. Around second 43. Instead of 15 minutes of fame, we got 3 seconds. Sweet!


Comments 8 comments

  • There’s a much longer and technical article here:
    http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/biomedical/bionics/augmented-reality-in-a-contact-lens/
    It has some interesting things in it including ideas for wireless power and how to get the eye to focus on somethings that’s right on the cornea. (Which sounds suspiciously like the Bokode stuff that everyone has been talking about lately.)

  • I can’t wait for this to evolve!

  • Imagine a world where hackers, advertisers, cops can take over one’s vision and alter it in any way they want, possibly without the wearer’s knowledge … Ghost in the Shell anyone ?

  • i suspected that was a bokode at first…i’d bet that would be a much nearer future identification method than retinal id from any kind of distance…

  • imagine video games in the future… my grand kids will be so spoiled and i thought we were….

  • PopSci’s Future Of television show had this amazing little technology on the other week. In the future, when this lens contains an entire display, their thought was to interface it with a hand gesture sensor enabled smartphone worn around the neck. Cool stuff!

  • So when will we see the breakout board? ;-)

  • brilliant!


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