Scientists at ,Ghent University's Centre of Micro-systems Technology have developed a new display technology that projects textual messages on the contact lens, straight from their smartphones. A spherical curved LCD display that has been designed that can be embedded inside a contact lens. This display will project the text using wireless technology. Belgian researchers that have made this say that ,it currently works with text based messaging.
"Now that we have established the basic technology, we can start working towards real applications, possibly available in only a few years," said Professor Herbert De Smet.
This is not science fiction," said Jelle De Smet, the chief researcher on the project, who believes commercial applications for the lenses will be available within five years. "This will never replace the cinema screen for films. But for specific applications it may be interesting to show images such as road directions or
projecting text messages from our smart phones straight to our eye."
Unlike LED-based contact lens displays, which are limited to a few small pixels, imec’s innovative LCD-based technology permits the use of the entire display surface. By adapting the patterning process of the conductive layer, this technology enables applications with a broad range of pixel number and sizes, such as a one pixel, fully covered contact lens acting as adaptable sunglasses.
The innovation is the first step towards a "fully pixelated contact lens displays" with the same amount of detail as a television screen.
The first prototype presented today contains a patterned dollar sign, depicting the many cartoons that feature people or figures with dollars in their eyes. It can only display rudimentary patterns, similar to an electronic pocket calculator. In the future, the researchers envision fully autonomous electronic contact lenses embedded with this display. These next-generation solutions could be used for medical purposes, for example to control the light transmission toward the retina in case of a damaged iris, or for cosmetic purposes such as an iris with a tunable colour In the future, the display could also function as a head-up display, superimposing an image onto the user’s normal view. However, there are still hurdles to overcome for broader consumer and civilian implementation as with all technology this will also have to be tested for it's long-term effects on the eye
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