Friday, January 18, 2008

TECH: Scientists Fit Electronic Circuits On To Contact Lens - Terminator Dreams Get Resurrected

Engineers at the University of Washington have successfully created a flexible, biologically safe and wearable contact lens imprinted with an electronic circuit. Up until now, the only test subjects have been a pair of rabbits who wore them for 20 minutes without dying or entering into a post-apocalyptic burst of insanity, leaving us all to ponder a future life where we can see perfectly at night, through walls and of course, have the ability to terminate future John Conners.


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.

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