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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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How To (Literally) Have Dollar Signs In Your Eyes

December 6, 2012, 8:58 AM

What's the Latest Development?

Researchers at the Centre of Microsystems Technology, a joint venture between the Belgian nanotechnology company imec and Ghent University, have developed an LCD display that is flexible enough to be embedded into a contact lens. Making a very small spherical display was a challenge, as main researcher Jelle De Smet describes: "[W]e had to use very thin polymer films, [so] their influence on the smoothness of the display had to be studied in detail." The first prototype, revealed Wednesday, contained a dollar sign.

What's the Big Idea?

LED displays have been put into contact lenses in recent years, but their coverage is limited to a few pixels. LCD displays use the entire lens surface, allowing for a wider range in the number and size of pixels. Right now the lenses can only display simple patterns which are not visible to the wearer, and much additional development and testing is needed before they can become available for commercial use. However, in the future researchers believe fully autonomous electronic versions of these lenses can be used in many different medical and cosmetic applications, from sun blockers to iris color-changers. They may even be able to display augmented-reality images. Take that, Google Glass.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com


How To (Literally) Have Dol...

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