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Where Are Your Contact Lens Displays?

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the we'll-use-them-as-huds-in-our-flying-cars dept.

Displays 152

destinyland writes "'We already see a future in which the humble contact lens becomes a real platform, like the iPhone is today,' argues researcher Babak Parvis, 'with lots of developers contributing their ideas and inventions.' He provides an update on the contact lens with transparent circuitry that's being developed at the University of Washington. (Its components will eventually include hundreds of LEDs which form images in front of the eye such as charts and photographs). They've already developed a lens-with-LED prototype that's powered by 330 microwatts of wireless radio-frequency power, and believe the lenses could also be used as biosensors to deliver body chemistry readings (including blood sugar levels). But 'What we've done so far barely hints at what will soon be possible with this technology,' says Dr. Parviz."

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I Seem to Have Misplaced Them ... (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225332)

Where Are Your Contact Lens Displays?

Oh, that's right, I left them out in the garage in my flying car. You see, I was running Duke Nukem Forever in Hurd but the battery ran out of power so I set them aside to bring in and recharge at my tabletop cold fusion station. It's okay though, I'll have forever to enjoy them now that Ray Kurzweil's Singularity has happened.

Re:I Seem to Have Misplaced Them ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30225472)

Funny you didn't even dare to mention Latex 3 as having been released.

Re:I Seem to Have Misplaced Them ... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30226866)

...not to mention the year of the Linux desktop.

Re:I Seem to Have Misplaced Them ... (5, Funny)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225476)

What an insightful Slashdot comment, attached to this accurate summary of an original, well-written online tech story.

Re:I Seem to Have Misplaced Them ... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30226168)

Ooo, ooo, I get it! We're bolding things that could never happen!

Re:I Seem to Have Misplaced Them ... (4, Funny)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#30226234)

;_;

Re:I Seem to Have Misplaced Them ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30226252)

Ooo, ooo, I get it! We're bolding things that could never happen!

FTFY

Re:I Seem to Have Misplaced Them ... (3, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225950)

Oh, that's right, I left them out in the garage in my flying car. You see, I was running Duke Nukem Forever in Hurd but the battery ran out of power so I set them aside to bring in and recharge at my tabletop cold fusion station. It's okay though, I'll have forever to enjoy them now that Ray Kurzweil's Singularity has happened.

If the population grows, the flying car has to happen one day, because the roads just get too congested otherwise. I see pictures of India's streets today and shudder when even 25% can and do own cars. China is already experiencing those problems. It's either that, or a real mass transit system like the Germans have, coupled with a revolutionary short distance personal transportation device, something that the Segway was rumored to be, but just wasn't. A bike would do, though a bit slow, a scooter like the original honda cub isn't bad either, but neither fold up enough to take on most busses, trains. It would also take an attitude adjustment on people's parts. The flying car just isn't reality because neither aerodynamic nor lift principles would be satisfactory for the human limitation involved, and anti-gravity would work, if such a thing existed. I would also suggest computer controlled road cars, but I'm not sure if the liability is worth it, if it's only suitable for highways, because, really, people are overall stupid drivers and technology (phones) is only making it worse so far.

DNF is just a game and technically feasible, they just were directionless and unhappy with everything they made. Hurd was superceded by Linux, so it's like complaining that an effective gas lamp was never invented when the lightbulb is already here.

Cold Fusion may be a pipe dream... but I hope they accompany these computer lenses with eyeglass counterparts. I don't like contacts, personally. I can see it happen, but I'd figure the computer power to get anything done would have to be miniaturized so much it'll be at least another 20 years... or that they have a terminal/server configuration where the lens/eyeglass acts as only a display wirelessly connected to a real computer elsewhere, be it on the person himself somewhere or on the internet.

Re:I Seem to Have Misplaced Them ... (4, Insightful)

LordAndrewSama (1216602) | more than 4 years ago | (#30226294)

If the population grows, the flying car has to happen one day

is that to facilitate transportation, or to solve the population problem? Because flat roads are beyond the abilities of most of the ass-nuggets behind the wheel already.

Re:I Seem to Have Misplaced Them ... (2, Interesting)

Pulse_Instance (698417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30226388)

I like to imagine that drivers in North America are so horrible because of the hideously low level of skill needed to obtain a driving license along with the relatively affordable fines for things. If there were real mandatory training classes along with harsh punishments for driving unsafely I think that the level of driving would improve a lot. It is unlikely to happen with cars as seen currently but if they were to start a system like that for flying cars when invented they could change the culture of drivers then.

Re:I Seem to Have Misplaced Them ... (2, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#30226828)

I like to imagine that drivers in North America are so horrible because of the hideously low level of skill needed to obtain a driving license along with the relatively affordable fines for things. If there were real mandatory training classes along with harsh punishments for driving unsafely I think that the level of driving would improve a lot. It is unlikely to happen with cars as seen currently but if they were to start a system like that for flying cars when invented they could change the culture of drivers then.

I would like to agree with driver licensing. But cops only stop for "speed" 90% of the time, when speed limits are already artificially low in most places to the point that you get bored driving. I see people not using turn signals all the time, communicating their intentions to other drivers, yet they never get a ticket.

I hope with the flying car, it would be computer controlled only. I don't think the general populace is ready to handle flying without crashing into other people's homes on a constant basis. Besides, it's much easier for AI to navigate the air path than a road.

Re:I Seem to Have Misplaced Them ... (3, Funny)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 4 years ago | (#30226246)

Your statements are making me sick to my stomach... I think I'll go to the bathroom and use the three seashells.

No contacts, please (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225360)

I got rid of my contacts [slashdot.org] back in 2006 (I'm a cyborg). For nearsightedness they're far better than glasses because you need to see all day long, but for a display they're not the right platform. Put those transparent circutis in a pair of glasses; I can keep them in my pocket for when they're needed.

You don't see anyone wearing contact sunglasses, now do you? Not even the ones that darken in sunlight and lighten indoors. Contact lens computer displays is a dumb idea.

Re:No contacts, please (4, Funny)

Scutter (18425) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225448)

You don't see anyone wearing contact sunglasses, now do you? Not even the ones that darken in sunlight and lighten indoors.

No, it's because seeing people with solid black eyes would creep people right the hell out. Didn't you see Event Horizon?

Re:No contacts, please (2, Funny)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225704)

But imagine the reaction to faint red glow of your eyes...

Re:No contacts, please (2, Interesting)

danhuby (759002) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225820)

I'm not sure it would be that obvious. Apparently Deanna Troi wore black contacts for all of TNG (as did other betazoids) and I can't say I noticed.

Re:No contacts, please (5, Funny)

stjobe (78285) | more than 4 years ago | (#30226016)

I'm not sure it would be that obvious. Apparently Deanna Troi wore black contacts for all of TNG (as did other betazoids) and I can't say I noticed.

"Hey! Up here!"

Small wonder you missed it...

Re:No contacts, please (1)

AnonymousCohort (305978) | more than 4 years ago | (#30226158)

or True Blood [hbo.com] ?

Re:No contacts, please (1)

PMBjornerud (947233) | more than 4 years ago | (#30226228)

You don't see anyone wearing contact sunglasses, now do you? Not even the ones that darken in sunlight and lighten indoors.

No, it's because seeing people with solid black eyes would creep people right the hell out. Didn't you see Event Horizon?

My major complaint about contacts for blocking sun is far to difficult to find the "mirrored shades" variant.

Solid mirror eyes. Heck, you wouldn't need no flying car to know you're living in the future then.

Re:No contacts, please (1, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30227032)

That would be possible with current tech, and would be very inexpensive. You can get non-prescription contacts at WalMart optical that give you red pupils and irises, snake-eyes or cat's eyes, etc now for about $30 per pair. I wouldn't be surprised if they did have mirrored ones as well.

Re:No contacts, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30226612)

Yes, did you? The character in Event Horizon tore out his eyes, and had empty eye sockets. I don't think contact lenses could make you look like that.

Re:No contacts, please (4, Informative)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225510)

Professional athletes wear sun-sensitive contacts, actually. They're about the only people who have a big enough need for that kind of thing and can afford them - they're rather expensive.

Re:No contacts, please (2, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225816)

they're rather expensive.

I can't understand why they would be. I had a pair of the sun-sensitive glasses years ago, and they didn't cost any more than regular glasses.

BTW, those glasses are NOT GOOD. Like any other muscle, your iris atrophes with disuse and after a year or two, walking outside with the sun sensitive glasses is no different than walking outside with regular glasses for someone who hasn't worn the sun-sensitive ones. And if you walk outside without them it's REALLY bright.

If you wear glasses, get contacts and use regular sunglasses, or clip on sunglasses. I can't understand how eye doctors can't know those things are bad for your eyes.

Re:No contacts, please (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30226564)

I can't understand how eye doctors can't know those things are bad for your eyes.

Good thing we have Random Internet Guy to educate us.

Re:No contacts, please (1)

Aldhibah (834863) | more than 4 years ago | (#30227216)

The contact lenses designed for athletes are not designed to reduce the brightness but filter our UV rays and increase contrast unlike the polarizing sunglasses you most likely had. The goal is to reduce retinal damage but maintain the tone of the muscles which control the iris.

Re:No contacts, please (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30226058)

I much prefer flimsy plastic to invasive surgery (and I don't require correction to function, I just benefit from it), so bring them on. Just because your eye blew up doesn't mean there aren't millions of people that benefit from contact lenses, and the ability to put information there (or choose not to) would be 100% feature.

Re:No contacts, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30226060)

Actually, a solution for people with extreme photophobia is what you call "contact sunglasses". You can get them in all kinds of shades, even nearly black at 90%. In my experience it takes people quite a while before they notice that it's weird.

Re:No contacts, please (2, Interesting)

ThreeGigs (239452) | more than 4 years ago | (#30226074)

Aside from the inconvenience, I haven't seen the health issues addressed. Mainly, what happens to the human eye when it's not only insulated by a contact lens, but also heated by the 330 microwatts needed to power these things?

Where are my contact lense displays? (2, Funny)

Nautical Insanity (1190003) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225380)

I don't know...I seem to have misplaced them. Shit, I'm blind without my visual overlay.

What could possibly go wrong? (2, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225402)

Let us make some Laser emitting diodes and put them behind the eyelids so that they cant even avoid it by closing their eye lids. Wow! You are en evil genius Dr Parviz.

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (1)

the_fat_kid (1094399) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225430)

and we will add to that Apple's "forced Advertising" to bring joy to all vendors.

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (1)

Scutter (18425) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225452)

Let us make some Laser emitting diodes and put them behind the eyelids so that they cant even avoid it by closing their eye lids. Wow! You are en evil genius Dr Parviz.

I promise you that they will be ad-supported as well.

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (3, Funny)

mschirmer (1619591) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225460)

Could you imagine the possibilities? *wink wink* .. You've bored at work, so you close your eyes and voila, a peep show all to yourself! No need to leave the office!

Wait... I'll be back. I have to go pull my mind out of the gutter.

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (3, Funny)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225568)

"No, Boss, I wasn't sleeping, I was playing pocket pool with Jenna Jameson."

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (2, Insightful)

Whalou (721698) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225942)

Don't try to pull your mind out of the gutter. That's impossible. Instead, you just have to realize the truth. There is no gutter.

Ultimate terminator "costume"? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225652)

Even better, make those lenses so that they emit faint red light "outwards", scaring the crap out of most people that will look into your eyes.

(might be already doable, with "phosphor" & low intensity radiation source, like in Russian watches...not sure about the shielding and the risk of cataract though ;/ )

Problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30225432)

I guess you're fucked if it falls out.

Visible from the outside? (2, Interesting)

Rhaban (987410) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225436)

If I displayed a fullscreen hi-res photo of someone's eye on such a lens, would it pass retina scan?

Re:Visible from the outside? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225532)

Probably not: I imagine that the retina scan counts on the retina being a certain distance away.

Re:Visible from the outside? (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225600)

Do people use retina scans anymore? I thought that they had been replace with iris scans, which are easier to do and can also use rapidly varying light patterns to test pupil dilation, which is much harder to fake than a static pattern.

Half an hour to insert (1)

Darth Sdlavrot (1614139) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225464)

My wife and kids can insert their contacts in minutes. I could never get the hang of it -- it always took me half an hour to put them in and I finally just gave up.

Highly unlikely that I'd ever use such things. A HUD in my glasses though, that'd be cool.

Re:Half an hour to insert (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225616)

How long did you try for? I started wearing contacts for flying and shooting (shooting with glasses gave me four different images to try to aim at because of the angle, and flying was problematic because they didn't fit well under the headphones). I was only putting them in once a week, and it took about ten to fifteen minutes. Once I started wearing them every day, I got much quicker. It also helped when my optician told me that any suggestions involving mirrors were nonsense. Don't look at your eye in a mirror when putting the lenses in, look straight at the lens and move your finger closer to your eye until they're in.

Re:Half an hour to insert (1)

gregthebunny (1502041) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225856)

I cross my eyes while putting in my contacts. I focus out the eye accepting the contact lens and use the opposite eye to watch what I'm doing.

Re:Half an hour to insert (1)

MisterSquid (231834) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225962)

I've been wearing contacts for 25 years. The best way to put them in is to peel your eyelids open using the pinky of one hand for your top eyelid and the ring finger of the other hand on the bottom. The middle finger of the bottom hand has a contact lens.

Takes about 3 seconds.

Re:Half an hour to insert (2, Insightful)

Darth Sdlavrot (1614139) | more than 4 years ago | (#30226072)

How long did you try for?

Months. Daily, for three months.

I started wearing contacts for flying and shooting (shooting with glasses gave me four different images to try to aim at because of the angle, and flying was problematic because they didn't fit well under the headphones). I was only putting them in once a week, and it took about ten to fifteen minutes. Once I started wearing them every day, I got much quicker. It also helped when my optician told me that any suggestions involving mirrors were nonsense. Don't look at your eye in a mirror when putting the lenses in, look straight at the lens and move your finger closer to your eye until they're in.

Not sure why this is modded informative. Every dispensing optician teaches you this when you get contacts for the first time. Like everything, practice usually works, but after blowing a half hour every day for three months I ran out of patience.

And if it falls out, or slips out of place, then another half hour putting it back in.

Re:Half an hour to insert (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#30226600)

How do you do it without flinching? I have a really hard time even putting in eye drops. If I were to ever get contact lenses, I'd need an apparatus like this [pbs.org] to even get close to getting one in.

The thought that someone could voluntarily put a foreign object in their eye is as bizarre and disturbing to me as the activity depicted in hello.jpg. Actually, it's freaking me out just writing about it. yeeech.

Re:Half an hour to insert (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30226818)

First, you hold your eyelid open with the other hand. You can probably overcome the blink reflex with enough practice and effort, but it would be a bad idea because 99% of the time something is approaching your eye you want to blink.

Second, you look away at the last moment. Move the lens close to your eye first, then look into the corner of your eye. You then can't see the lens going in. Once it's in, you can remove your finger and look straight ahead again. The lens will then settle on your iris. I don't do this anymore, which is why I forgot to mention it in the original post.

Oh, and I still find it difficult to put in eye drops. The drops are cold and have a distinct feeling when they hit your eye which makes me flinch. Contact lenses don't feel the same (once they're in you don't notice they're there after the first week) and touch your eye much more gently than drops falling in.

Re:Half an hour to insert (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 4 years ago | (#30226606)

Don't look at your eye in a mirror when putting the lenses in, look straight at the lens and move your finger closer to your eye until they're in.

Doesn't work for everyone. Personally I am 95% certain to vomit at least once when putting in contacts, if I did this.

The optician who did this for me the first time, was the first one to find out.

I have to use a mirror, and I 'deposit' the lens onto the eyeball rather than the iris, by looking sideways into the mirror, exposing as much of the whites as possible. Takes me about 3 minutes to put in lenses all total, including a thorough hand wash before starting.

Re:Half an hour to insert (1)

wisdom_brewing (557753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225774)

For me its the same problem, I wear the leave in overnight lenses occasionally and dont ger enough practice.

My girlfriend puts hers in/takes them out in seconds, for me it can take a few minutes to half an hour...

I have very deep set eyes, so that even the person showing me how to insert the lenses had to make several attempts.

Once every few months i make the effort (before a beach or ski holiday for example) but generally its easier for me to just wear glasses.

Re:Half an hour to insert (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 4 years ago | (#30227060)

I wear these huge Toric lenses and it takes about 3 seconds to put them in - did I say they are huge and fat? Yeah, you can see them in my eyes from a meter away. Just stick it on the end of the finger (any will do), then slide them into the bottom, pull your finger away (down or to the outside) and blink a few times. Easy-peazy.

Re:Half an hour to insert (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 4 years ago | (#30226046)

You have to keep at it. Takes a while the first time, and takes a while to get used to. Optometrist showed me a trick that people use (although I don't need it as I'm perfectly comfortable touching my eye now). First (obviously), clean your hands very good. Then, pull down your lower eyelid, under your eye, and touch the tip of your finger to your eyeball. It's okay if you flinch violently, this takes practice. Keep doing this many times, and do this exercise I'd say at least a couple of minutes a day for a week or more until you can touch your eyeball without flinching at all. Then try contacts again. It'll be much easier to put them in.

Re:Half an hour to insert (1)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 4 years ago | (#30226082)

I tried contacts but had the same problem, only it took me much longer than you to get them in and out. I decided to give up after one night when I was up until 4am trying to get the bloody things out before going to bed (having started at 10pm).

I'm quite comfortable wearing my glasses (in fact, while wearing contacts I found myself habitually touching my nose as if to re-position my glasses), and I really don't like touching my eyes, so the whole thing was a bit of a non-starter.

Focus? (4, Interesting)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225518)

It strikes me that the real trick isn't putting a display on the lens of the eye, but getting a focussed image. I mean, you could write a crisp, clear letter on someone's eyeball right now, but they wouldn't be able to see it. It'd just be a smudge on their vision. That still leaves you open to using a flash of colour in different directions to attract the wearer's attention to hazards, or other blurry ways of presenting information, mind you. I think the real key will be putting MEMS-directed lasers in there which can draw on the retina, bypassing focussing entirely.

Re:Focus? (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225684)

If you could precisely focus an image on the retina, couldn't you precisely focus an image on the lens so that it would appear 'correctly' to the lens-wearer? In other words, not a perfect focus, but whatever distortions or adjustments one needed to introduce to make it seem right to the viewer?

Re:Focus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30226004)

No.

If 10 seconds of thinking doesn't make it obvious, try to ponder exactly how you plan to make an image on the retina, when the light source is pretty much inside the pupil. It's like a pinhole camera [wikipedia.org] without the pinhole.

Start with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depth_of_field for the general problem, and then consider the extreme case.

Re:Focus? (1)

Shrike82 (1471633) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225768)

I think the real key will be putting MEMS-directed lasers in there which can draw on the retina, bypassing focussing entirely.

"Yes officer, I know I just ran over and killed seven children. I was blinded by the lasers in my contact lenses you see..."

Re:Focus? (4, Funny)

Last_Available_Usern (756093) | more than 4 years ago | (#30226124)

Let me just make sure I read this right...you want to shoot lasers directly onto my retina?

Re:Focus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30227252)

Little tiny lasers, you big wuss.

Re:Focus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30227284)

Why the hell not? Lasers are *light*. Your retina is exposed to *light* all freaking day long. That's it's *job*.

The word 'laser' does not mean 'beam of light so intense it will burn a hole in your head'. It means 'focused, coherent beam of light'. You can do that at any intensity you like (low intensity is easier than high intensity).

Re:Focus? (1)

jeroen94704 (542819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30226320)

I'm glad I'm not the only one wondering about this [slashdot.org]

Where Are Your Contact Lens Displays? (4, Informative)

Saija (1114681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225524)

Re:Where Are Your Contact Lens Displays? (1)

eggnoglatte (1047660) | more than 4 years ago | (#30227212)

Yeah, I don't understand why that guy gets that level of publicity, his claims don't even pass simple sanity checks.

All they actually managed to do so far is put some simple circuitry inside a contact lens. They aren't anywhere close to being able to do displays, in fact it is extremely unlikely that they ever will. First, there is the focus problem that others have already mentioned. Second, or visual system sees by scanning over (i.e. moving the eye ball relative to) the scene. If the scene (display) moves with the eye ball, this obviously doesn't work.

yawn (1)

jDeepbeep (913892) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225540)

Wake me up when any of these concepts move to market (and at a price point I can afford).

Re:yawn (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225972)

Wake me up when any of these concepts move to market (and at a price point I can afford).

You don't need slashdot for that, just visit the electronics aisle at Wal-Mart a couple times a year if that's what meets your level of interest.

Health Aspects (1)

mindaktiviti (630001) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225554)

Is there a study or research done on the health aspects? I would imagine putting powered circuitry into your eyes is a recipe for disaster. Something that is deemed as safe as todays contact lenses would be the only thing I would ever even want to try.

Also... optically speaking would you be able to read text that is effectively right against your eye? Can we focus clearly that closely?

Re:Health Aspects (1)

gregthebunny (1502041) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225948)

There's no "focusing" at that point since the image is right on top of the cornea. I'd imagine the lens would display images "in focus" directly to the retina.

The ultimate adware (1)

mario_grgic (515333) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225556)

This is the marketing wet dream, forced ads right on the surface of your eyes.

Re:The ultimate adware (1)

LordAndrewSama (1216602) | more than 4 years ago | (#30226034)

and just to be a bastard, make people pay for time without ads by the hour, for important events they don't want interrupted, like strippers, the footy, and sleep.

Re:The ultimate adware (1)

grimJester (890090) | more than 4 years ago | (#30227256)

Not as bad as two-way computer-brain communication. If you have popup ads in your field of vision it's annoying, but if it works as an extra sense you probably can't distinguish advertising from your own opinions. Kinda like politics works now.

Hacked (1)

RNLockwood (224353) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225570)

Someone is driving on the freeway at night going 75 wearing the smart contacts. As a van is passed on a curve all the LEDs in the contacts light up fully. "Single car crash", states the report, "must have fallen asleep".

Re:Hacked (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225650)

They probably wouldn't be bright enough to obscure your vision. For driving, I imagine that it would be useful to have things like your GPS data on a HUD so you could see where you were meant to turn without having to glance down at the dashboard. There have been cars made with HUDs for a few year, but they're very expensive.

Re:Hacked (1)

clt829 (820534) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225848)

Someone is driving on the freeway at night going 75 wearing the smart contacts. As a van is passed on a curve all the LEDs in the contacts light up fully. "Single car crash", states the report, "must have fallen asleep".

Gives new meaning to BSOD!

The Blue (4, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225606)

The Blue Cataract of Death.

When they happen, it will be amazing (1)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225642)

I'm really excited about the future of augmented reality and augmented senses. I'd love to see enhancements for all our senses. The visual possibilities are obvious (facial recognition, distance calculation, displaying overlay information about whatever you're looking at), but the other senses are equally exciting:

Hearing: Augment my hearing so that when I'm in the dark I can have a sonar type display projected onto my eyes. Night vision is cool, but it still requires some light, and can be baffled by smoke - sonar would let people "see" in situations where they otherwise wouldn't. Throw in some filters, also - I'm listening to music while on a train, noise cancellation would be nice. I hear a snippet of song on the radio and want to know what it is - my new ears will recognize the song and tell me the name (and probably let me get it from iTunes or whatever right then, if I want).

Smell & Taste: For emergency services workers, it'd be great if they had a way of knowing what was in the air in a dangerous environment. Augmented smell would let them do that, or allow humans to sense other things that currently are too subtle for us to detect. There's been some work with dogs that could smell cancer - it'd be an interesting diagnostic tool to add smell to a quick medical scan. Or for foodies, we could take a bite of something and instantly be shown what's in it and in what proportion.

Touch: I'd just like to see something that would let me run my fingers over a surface and then translate that into visuals.

Obviously, all of this (and more) could be turned on/turned off by the user to make it unobtrusive if they wanted, and certainly there would be privacy issues.

One thing I do wonder about is how our brains would cope with being supported in this fashion - I know that my memory for things like phone numbers has gone to shit since I've begun using a cellphone, and while I'm much better at figuring out how to find information than I used to be, thanks to Google, I'm also a lot worse at keeping random facts in my head. What will happen to a generation of people raised without having to engage in tasks like having to remember people's names/faces/details? It could be interesting.

Re:When they happen, it will be amazing (2, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30226622)

It's amazing what they have now [slashdot.org] . My left eye's natural lens (not the cornea, the one behind the iris) was replaced with an artificial lens that sits on struts, allowing it to focus. before the operation I wore contacts for my extreme nearsightedness, plus reading glasses for my age-related farsightedness (yes, you can be both nearsighted and farsighted at the same time; that's what they make bifocal glasses for). The vision in that eye is now BETTER thah 20/20 at all distances. I see better than most twenty year olds!

You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile. In fact, you'll beg to be assimilated and will pay good money for it -- I did.

Pipe Dream, like last time. (1)

Remus Shepherd (32833) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225718)

We've had this discussion before [slashdot.org] . I'll bring up the same point as I did last time: Contact lens displays are going to be limited by the power requirements. The solution they have in this article is equivalent to pressing a cellphone antenna up to your eyeball. It's not going to be healthy; a lot of people would go blind at that level of radiation.

My advice is to wait for the full computer-brain interface.

Hope they don't heat up when they short circuit (1)

smitty777 (1612557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225738)

Could be kind of painful.

This it great (4, Funny)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225760)

These will definitely help me find Sarah Connor.

The Future Is Here (1)

Phat_Tony (661117) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225788)

When I mentioned the idea of contact-lens displays in a comment [slashdot.org] one year ago, I referred to them as "the magical world of tomorrow." I guess the future is coming sooner than I thought.

Like the Iphone? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225912)

Yes thanks for that - obviously we here at Slashdot are clueless about what a platform is, without a reference to a pop culture reference. (Though I do wonder why you don't at least make a comparison to a more mainstream brand of phones, instead of one that's just a few per cent of the market.)

No, it couldn't possibly be an attempt to make a story more newsworthy with an "On Your Iphone" reference...

How do you look at specific things with them? (4, Interesting)

foodnugget (663749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225920)

I don't have contacts, but from what i understand, they center on your cornea and move with your eye, right?

How would someone "look around" on a screen with contacts? Wouldn't the center of the screen always be what you're looking at, drastically minimizing what you can read and properly make out?

Re:How do you look at specific things with them? (1)

Derosian (943622) | more than 4 years ago | (#30226128)

Probably similarly to how the wii-head sensors work. When you look in a different direction the computer would recognize this and scroll the screen as if it was actually moving.

Re:How do you look at specific things with them? (1)

foodnugget (663749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30226438)

So not only do you have the display, you need a telemetry sensor to detect physical movement of the device? You could do this with a gyro or an accelerometer, but moving your head and not your eye would result in false readings... unless there was another sensor on your head to provide difference data between head movement and eye movement... connected to the system as well... I guess it is conceivable. just sounds like it would be many years off before it were reasonable.

Re:How do you look at specific things with them? (1)

jeroen94704 (542819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30226372)

Good point.

Even worse, contacts do not remain at the same spot on the retina. They move about a little bit with each eye-movement and blink. This is ok for a simple lens as long as the actual pupil remains fully covered, but for a screen it would be catastrophic. Imagine your monitor slamming down when you blink, and then slowly work its way back up (which is what a contact does).

Completely impractical (1)

Alsace (1686118) | more than 4 years ago | (#30225958)

How do you focus on one side of the graph than the other? If you move your eyeball to the left to focus so does the image move to the left. You will not be able to shake your focus off the center of the image. If you have great periphery that may be fine, but only if you are stupid.

What about flexible OLED displays (1)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 4 years ago | (#30226022)

I'm still waiting for the brave new world where you can roll-up your display into a case the size of a pen [universaldisplay.com]

The whole "display on a contact lens" is even more vaporware than that.

Re:What about flexible OLED displays (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30226370)

Except display on a contact lens actual exist. granted it's only a fw LEDs, but it's a start.
It's not vaporware, and in fact there is a prototype:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18146-contact-lenses-to-get-builtin-virtual-graphics.html [newscientist.com]

I hope someday to own a pair and play Duke Nukem on them~

I RTFA (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 4 years ago | (#30226068)

And far as I can tell, the contact lenses, THEY DO NOTHING!

MTV Cribs is ruined (1)

lamadude (1270542) | more than 4 years ago | (#30226110)

Welcome to my crib, here is the master bedroom, no plasma TV, but I've got some pretty sweet contact lenses in a drawer somewhere.

How does focussing work? (1)

jeroen94704 (542819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30226176)

Can anyone shed some light on how the optics of a contact-lens display would work? After all, when all is said and done, this is going to be a display that is not simply "close" to your eye, but ON TOP of it, and I don't know about others, but my eyes are unable to focus on anything closer than 5 cm (2") or so.

There are mirror/lens systems in VR-helmets and those fancy spectacle-like, wearable displays that create a virtual display some distance away from the viewer, but I don't see how that could be replicated in a contact lens.

actually more like head mounted cueing (1)

winse (39597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30226214)

we'll-use-them-as-huds-in-our-flying-cars dept-

actually typically HUDS are fixed on the vehicle body (at least in the fighter pilot community). These would be more like helmet (head) mounted cueing systems present in more modern day such as JHMCS http://www.vsi-hmcs.com/pages_hmcs/02_jhm.html [vsi-hmcs.com]

Don't fall into the perfection trap (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30226316)

Don't try to make a contact that does everything you think of. Get some that provide some functionality. An interface for smart phones s a great start.

Thise has killed a lot of products from the consumer market. For example, VR. Every body wanted to release a fully functional 3d VR with near perfect graphics. This was completly unreasonable for the consumer market.

F16 (1)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 4 years ago | (#30226340)

The TFA has a video clip of a F16 HUD.

Either the pilot's flying skills are like mine (in a simulator), or he's a top aerobic performer.

It's hard to hear the engine noise clearly, a real testament to the noise cancellation quality.

Hmm, he landed perfectly at first try. He's a real good pilot.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30226456)

I invision eye cancers :)

Beer Goggles? (1)

TooMad (967091) | more than 4 years ago | (#30226470)

Make your significant other always look like their youthful self or someone else entirely. The next step being everyone always looking 'beautiful'.

Two words... (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 4 years ago | (#30226914)

Dennou Coil

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennou_Coil

How do you focus? (2, Interesting)

imkonen (580619) | more than 4 years ago | (#30227054)

Doesn't a contact lens sit closer to a human eye than anyone could ever actually focus their eyes on? In fact doesn't it sit on the focusing element? I guess the retina is different from the lens, but they are not very far apart IIRC, and can probably be considered one optic. IANAO (O = opthamologist) as you can tell, but I know a thing or two about optics. You cannot just display an image (either by absorption of the backlight or emission from tiny LEDS) onto an imaging lens (human or mechanical) that looks like what you want to display the way you can with a HUD or a computer monitor. What you percieve as spatially separated regions in your view map to different angles of incidence of light rays impinging on your lens. Each "pixel" in your eye (or literal pixel in a camera) collects light passing through all regions of the lens, but only at one angle. So to create a 256x256 display on a contact image that appeared in focus, the lens would have to emit light over a controllable grid of 256x256 angles.

I don't know that the technology is theoretically impossible, but I think articles like this usually gloss over this not at all minor technical difficulty. Transparent circuitry is much easier because of this same phenomenon. If you cover up 50% of the area of a contact lens with completely opaque circuitry, you won't see the circuits in your vision, you'll just see a reduced intensity as if you were wearing sunglasses, because the circuitry will be so out of focus it will appear uniform. If your circuitry is only covering 10% of the area, you probably won't even notice the difference.

Getting ahead of ourselves? (1)

jgotts (2785) | more than 4 years ago | (#30227244)

Before putting displays in contact lenses, how about fixing the contact lens technology itself so you can actually wear them for longer than 10 hours without itching, stinging, and redness?

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