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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

she blinded me with science

Soon You’ll Be Sharing Messages On Your Contact Lenses

I’ll admit, the only time I’ve worn contact lenses is for cosplay and they bother the hell out of me. I know if you really need them you can get an eye doctor to specially fit them to your eye but still, the feeling is weird. Suffice to say, I think having a message displayed to your retina from a contact lens is pretty disconcerting. But well, here comes the future! 

A curved liquid crystal display has been invented by scientists in Belgium. Discovery News writes, “Unlike previous developments in contact lens displays, University of Ghent researcher Jelle De Smet focused on creating a curved LCD that would be incorporated into a contact lens rather than embedding LED technology into one. This approach means De Smet and his colleagues at the Center of Microsystems Technology have a larger display area, according to the university.”

Here’s what it looks like:

I have to say, it reminds me a lot of those transition lenses that turn your eyeglasses into sunglasses when you’re outdoors (they might actually be used for that). Or, if you’re my brother, the kind that stop turning back into eyeglasses when you’re indoors. But I digress.

The video description gives some more details:

Direct applications could be medical, as an artificial iris, or cosmetic, as an iris with tunable color, or it just could serve as a gimmick. The dollar sign is a reference to the many cartoons featuring people/figures with dollars in their eyes :)

When worn, the image would only be visible to bystanders, since the eye cannot focus on objects in such a close proximity. Research is currently being performed to solve the focusing problem and to see whether an embedded contact lens display that can be seen by the lens wearer is feasible.

So yes, right now, the person wearing the lenses can’t actually read the message but others can. I’m imagining that scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where Dr. Jones’ student flashes him a message on her eye lids being played our 100 years in the future.

“Normally, flexible displays using liquid crystal cells are not designed to be formed into a new shape, especially not a spherical one. Thus, the main challenge was to create a very thin, spherically curved substrate with active layers that could withstand the extreme molding processes,” said De Smet. “Moreover, since we had to use very thin polymer films, their influence on the smoothness of the display had to be studied in detail. By using new kinds of conductive polymers and integrating them into a smooth spherical cell, we were able to fabricate a new LCD-based contact lens display.”

So, weird or cool?

(via Discovery News)

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  • K. Cox

    Not Indiana Jones; Torchwood! Seeeekrit spy messages…

  • Erin Wilson

    I don’t see a point. Especially since the person wearing them can’t even see the message, I mean really, what is the point? Shouldn’t scientists be trying to find a cure for cancer rather than working on this?

  • Stephanie Childers

    The people who are working on these sorts of projects seem to have more of an engineering bent and were never going to work on curing cancer. I agree that these lenses don’t seem to have much of a point, but testing the limits of technology is what drives innovation. We won’t have lenses that can be read by the user until products like this come out first.

  • Ashe P. Samuels

    Going to pre-order my contact lens with the right saying “Fuck” and the left saying “You”.

  • Jennifer Dougherty

    Way to stay classy, there.

  • Captain ZADL

    Biologists work on cancer. This is a different skill set. And you never know what applications pure research can have in saving lives. Did you know that NASA, while trying to create a more efficient rocket engine accidentally came up with a method to apply what they had learned to fire-hose nozzles? The new nozzles use less water, are more easily controlled, and put out fires faster than anything else – and therefore save lives faster. Never discount what research has done.

    For all we know this might lead to a cure for blindness later.

  • Jill Pantozzi

    Don’t remind me of that season…

  • Travis Fischer

    Shouldn’t you be working on a cure for cancer rather than doing what you’re doing?

  • Ashe P. Samuels

    I do my best.

  • Catherina Lucy

    This video helped me to learn about contact lens practically.Thanks for the video,as the video is clear in explanation and understandable.