After Google Glass, the Internet on a Contact Lens
Developers at Samsung are trying to one-up Google Glass, the technology that delivers the Internet via a pair of eyeglasses, by creating contact lenses capable of displaying the same electronic information.
Developers at Samsung are trying to one-up Google Glass, the technology that delivers the Internet via a pair of eyeglasses, by creating contact lenses capable of displaying the same electronic information. Engineers have “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.” The lenses have been tested on rabbits, whose eyes are similar in size to humans’, without any adverse effect, say researchers.
What’s the Big Idea?
In addition to displaying the Internet, and a host of accompanying applications, electronic contact lenses could prove even more promising in the medical field. Researchers at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, are “currently using the graphene-nanowire conductors to make biosensors that could monitor health conditions by sampling the chemistry of the eye’s tear film.” Such lenses are currently being developed in order to filter light to compensate for vision problems. And while current efforts are limited to displaying one pixel on a given lens, it is a necessary first step toward making more complex versions in the future.
Embedded in a cell phone or in accessories such as rings, bracelets or watches, the novel tools aim to make it easier to manage hypertension. But they must still pass several tests before hitting the clinic.