People who think Glass is an invasion of privacy have not seen anything yet. Electronic contact lenses could one day be used as your own personal hud (heads up display) which could display your latest tweets, Facebook and Google+ posts etc.
Built by researchers at several institutions, including two research arms of Samsung, the lenses use new nanomaterials to solve some of the problems that have made contact lens displays less than practical.
Jang-Ung Park, a chemical engineer at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, mounted a light emitting diode on an off the shelf soft contact lens, using a material the researchers developed: a transparent, highly conductive, and stretchy mix of graphene and silver nanowires.
Rabbits were used to test these lenses because their eyes are similar in size to humans. After, five hours the researchers found no ill effects. The animals didn’t rub their eyes or have a bloodshot look and the electronics kept working. This work is described online in the journal Nano Letters.
“We believe the hybridization between two-dimensional and one-dimensional nanomaterials presents a promising strategy toward flexible, wearable electronics and implantable biosensor devices, and indicate the substantial promise of future electronics,” lead researcher Jang-Ung Park said in a press release.
Their are also new reports about scientists in Belgium that have built an LCD screen into a contact lens called The Ghent. It comes from researchers at Imec and UGent.
Ghent researchers imagine that in the near future, lenses like they one they’ve built will be able to change the color of the wearer’s eye, work as sunglasses, or serve a medical purpose like protecting a damaged iris from bright light.
You can get a glimpse of what Ghent does below: