Wednesday, January 12, 2011

LED Contact Lenses

Fifty years ago families huddled around a screen in their living room. Today most people walk around with their own personal screen that is small enough to fit in their pocket. The next stage is to cut out the middle step entirely and bring the screen directly into contact with the eye. That is exactly what scientists at University of Washington are currently working on.

Although the research is still in its preliminary stages, the end product could be revolutionary. They intend on fitting minuscule semi-transparent LEDs into contact lenses. When needed, the person wearing the lenses will be able to view images and videos in perfect quality. When the mechanism is turned off, the display will become transparent due to the LEDs grid-pattern arrangement. The user will attach a small pack to their belt, which will wirelessly transmit the electricity and data to the lenses.

Much work still needs to be done before the lenses will display crystal clear images. So far they have successfully inserted red and blue pixels into the lenses, but they are still working on integrating the green pixels. Although its application is new, similar contact lens technology has been used by Swiss company Sensimed to monitor glucose levels in diabetic patients.

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