With an estimated 285 million people visually impaired across the planet, Eric Tremblay’s new telescopic contact lens prototype, which is the first of its kind, offers hope for better, stronger vision.
Tremblay, who’s an EPFL researcher, was quoted in a EurekAlert release as having said that his collaborators and him “think these lenses hold a lot of promise for low vision and age-relate macular degeneration” and that it’s “very important” and difficult to find a balance between functionality and what he referred to as “the social costs” of wearing any type of bulky visual device.
We think these lenses hold a lot of promise for low vision and age-related macular degeneration […] It’s very important and hard to strike a balance between function and the social costs of wearing any kind of bulky visual device. There is a strong need for something more integrated, and a contact lens is an attractive direction. At this point this is still research, but we are hopeful it will eventually become a real option for people with AMD.
The Telegraph reports that AMD is the biggest cause of sight loss in Britain with sufferers losing their ability to see in the center of their field of vision which makes it difficult to not only read, but also to recognize faces.
Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) is Europe’s most cosmopolitan technical university.
The lens was developed alongside Joe Ford at the University of California, San Diego, and others at Innovega, Pacific Sciences and Engineering, Rockwell Collins, an Vision Sciences.
The contact lenses, which were first announced back in 2013, with their integrated telescopes offer 2.8 times magnification. Since their release, scientists behind the DARPA-funded project have been dialing-in the lens membranes and developing accessories to enhance comfort and improve usability.
In other DARPA-funded research reported here on Immortal News, researchers have programmed a robot to learn how to cook by watching instructional cooking videos on YouTube.
In order to control the zoom feature and switch between normal, unmagnified vision and magnified vision, the wearer need only wink and no, a blink won’t set it off as it’s capable of discerning between winks and blinks. The system works via an integrated light receptor which detects the wearer’s winks.
What are your thoughts on these new telescopic contact lenses with built-in zoom?