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DARPA Works On Virtual Reality Contact Lenses

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the seeing-through-new-eyes dept.

The Military 129

gManZboy writes "Binoculars and night-vision goggles have their limits. So DARPA is doing work at Washington-based Innovega iOptiks to create wearable eye lenses with tiny, full-color displays onto which digital images can be projected, to give soldiers better situational awareness. The lenses would allow users to focus simultaneously on images that are both close up (perhaps a display) and far away (perhaps a battlefield.) Using virtual reality technologies to improve how soldiers perform on the battlefield has been a particular interest of the U.S. military for some time."

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Hoo Boy. (5, Funny)

The Wild Norseman (1404891) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900207)

iOptiks? Cue Apple lawsuits in 5... 4... 3...

I prefer the Steve Jobs version (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900369)

It's obvious that this company was originally hired by Steve Jobs to produce contact lenses which change physical reality to match what is displayed on them.

They failed (the original development plan was to bootstrap the initial, barely-working devices to cause later ones to work better), so they're trying to cut their losses by selling this (comparatively oh so boring) tech to the military.

Re:Hoo Boy. (5, Funny)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900855)

Ah, it's the Apple of your Eye.

Re:Hoo Boy. (2)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 2 years ago | (#38901265)

What apple products dosen't have an eye innit?

Re:Hoo Boy. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38901811)

The Apple ][

Re:Hoo Boy. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38902235)

Ah, it's the Apple of your Eye.

It would be called the iEye, and marketed initially at the Navy...

Contacts (2)

slackware 3.6 (2524328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900211)

No double contacts. I wonder how this would affect those of us already wearing contacts. Prescription TV?

Re:Contacts (3, Insightful)

nzac (1822298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900239)

I would assume its possible to shape them the same as normal contact and if they are not too thick it would be trivial to do so.
It would be a replacement.

Re:Contacts (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38901009)

It'd raise the price hugely though. Easier solution: Wear glasses. Might have to get really rugged ones for military use.

Re:Contacts (2)

nzac (1822298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38901035)

It'd raise the price hugely though.

No you just build it up a little more in some places i would think these would be custom built for perfect vision anyway. A contact lenses is just shaped plastic/glass. I guess it makes stocking lenses more difficult.

Easier solution: Wear glasses. Might have to get really rugged ones for military use.

Yeah glasses seem so much easier to make work for this.

Re:Contacts (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#38902875)

It's a lot easier to change glasses/flip up/down a lens cover in combat than fart around trying to replace a contact lens if you want a different type of display.

Re:Contacts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38900335)

laser eye surgery

Re:Contacts (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38900345)

I thought the military doesn't allow contacts on the battlefield. Isn't that why people have to wear those GI glasses?

What happens if you're wearing a prescription contact and it falls out?

Re:Contacts (2)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#38902931)

What happens if you're wearing a prescription contact and it falls out?

You're blind in that eye, unlike if the screw on your glasses' earpiece falls out, in which case you're blind in both eyes.

Re:Contacts (0)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#38903191)

What happens if you're wearing a prescription contact and it falls out?

You ask everyone to stop shooting and not move a muscle while you search for it, then when you find it you get medevaced to a mobile eye surgery hospital which has all the right cleaning and lubricating solutions?

Just a guess.

Re:Contacts (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900969)

feed a live picture to them. I'd rather have that, augmented hdhdvision, 270 fov etc.

It starts with lenses, next will be implants... (5, Funny)

kawabago (551139) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900213)

then we will all become Borg!

Re:It starts with lenses, next will be implants... (4, Informative)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900343)

I already have optical implants. They got rid of my astigmatism and changed me from being intensly near sighted to being slightly farsighted. I still need reading glasses for close up work, but it's a lot better than it was before I got them, especially when you take into account the cataracts I used to have.

Re:It starts with lenses, next will be implants... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38900381)

then we will all become Borg!

I think you missed the ??? step.

Re:It starts with lenses, next will be implants... (4, Funny)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900565)

then we will all become Borg!

You have beautiful eyes, baby. Where did you buy them?

Re:It starts with lenses, next will be implants... (1)

Sneeze1066 (1574313) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900665)

She could tell you....but then she'd have to kill you.

Re:It starts with lenses, next will be implants... (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38902269)

This pickup line already works with tits!

Re:It starts with lenses, next will be implants... (1)

tenco (773732) | more than 2 years ago | (#38903157)

In a Triple Max Slam Prison (with a doctor).

Re:It starts with lenses, next will be implants... (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 2 years ago | (#38902435)

No. No! Only the ones with enough money will be able to pay for the privilege of being borg. Those implants and enhancements aren't cheap, you know, and the borg queen's bonus just gets bigger every year.

Why? (1)

NoKaOi (1415755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900231)

Ok, night vision goggles and binoculars as mentioned in the summary are big bulky things, so it would stand to reason that you wouldn't want to wear those all the time. But why jump straight to contacts? Why not make some the size of regular glasses, which you'd think would be a helluva lot easier? I wonder whose campaign(s) iOptiks brib^H^H^H donated to.

Re:Why? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38900277)

DARPA sets ambitious goals in order to make faster progress.

Re:Why? (5, Funny)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900481)

DARPA sets ambitious goals in order to make faster progress.

How do ambitious goals make faster progress?

With that logic I hereby set as a goal to get laid by no less than three hot celebrities by the end of the week; Eva Mendes, Jessica Alba, and that volcanic hot blonde from Chuck.

Accordingly this means that progress will be achieved faster and I should get laid by a reasonably good looking, conscious and otherwise not impaired, healthy woman by the end of the month.

I'll let you know how that works out.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38900569)

Fine, ambitious goals motivates some actual science projects, a pair of glasses that does this could be slapped together with existing tech.
Long term development vs. short term.

Re:Why? (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 2 years ago | (#38902587)

I kind of wish DARPA would consider a self sustaining moon base then. Otherwise N.Leroy GingRich sounds delusional.

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900589)

You laugh, but your odds of getting a reasonably good looking woman to sleep with you would go up if you groomed, dressed, and carried yourself the way you would while trying to pick up a supermodel.

If you just take the path of least resistance (ugliest girl left at last call, to continue the analogy), you'll never know what you're capable of.

Re:Why? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38901527)

Richard Hammond recommends going for the ugly chick right off the bat, that way you leave with a girl and your friends go home alone :-P

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38901843)

What did his wife have to say on the subject?

Re:Why? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38901893)

Jeez a married guy can't give dating advice?

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38902283)

Woooosh.

Re:Why? (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38902769)

I would sooner take dating advice from a married guy than a single one.

Think about it. Why's he married? He must be doing something right.

Re:Why? (2)

JosKarith (757063) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900819)

Leaving the basement, washing and going to a club might help with that. You can't expect progress without effort - a goal is just a direction.

Re:Why? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38901495)

Why set your goals so low? You need to aim for the moon!

I am now setting a goal to get in a foursome with Scarlett Johansson, Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman (hot grits optional), and get them to each bring me a supercar as a gift, before lunch. I figure I should be laid by a good looking woman and the owner of at least a high-end sports car before the night's out.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38901853)

Yvonne Strahovski. It gets better. She's actually Australian. First time I heard her real accent on a commercial, the volcanic scale went up a notch.

Re:Why? (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38902847)

Yeah.

I just went Santorini all over my keyboard, now I got sticky keys.

Orders of magnatude (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38901887)

Dude, you need to revise your estimates.
Super-hot celebrity chicks by end of week do not equal anything by the end of the month. Try this.

Super-hot Celebrity Chick = 10,0000
Hot-Chick / Celebrity Chick = 1000
Average female of reproductive age = 100
A female of your species = 10
Hand-job in the shower = 1

Your dates have an issue, too.

End of Week = 10,0000
End of Month = 1000
End of year = 100
End of decade = 10
End of life - 1

Now that you have your scale set you can figure how many orders of magnitude down to adjust your expectations.
Super-Hot Celebrity Chick by end of the week would probably translate into a trip to the local street-walker.

Happy to help.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38900483)

Transparent augmented reality glasses already on sale for civilians. And more would come this summer. DARPA uses their funds to bring something new. Why buying something you could have off the shelf, already polyshed by laymans, like those android phones they try to bring to battlefield.

When you think that lens system would be actually simpler than glasses (not simpler to manufacture simple in terms of optics structure, and probably processing) it makes a lot of sense to fund that.

playstation 9 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38900241)

playstation 9 playstation 9 playstation 9 playstation 9

Vernor Vinge fans? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38900251)

Well looks like someone at DARPA has been reading Rainbows End.

Re:Vernor Vinge fans? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38900467)

Well looks like someone at DARPA has been reading Rainbows End.

Doubt it. It's more likely that they're fans of early 90's Japanese Anime or early 80's cyberpunk novels. Vinge may be a good writer, but he didn't come up with any of those ideas.

Re:Vernor Vinge fans? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38900479)

Gibsons 'Virtual light' had a similar piece of kit pre-dating rainbows end.

Re:Vernor Vinge fans? (4, Interesting)

vlad30 (44644) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900563)

I'd say someone watched torchwood

Re:Vernor Vinge fans? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38901233)

Nope I ve heard about him, but no I am not his fan. Nope didn't watch Torchwood.

  I think you're don't understand what I am writing. Go google it.

  Lumus optical promises affordable glasses 'at the end of this year' at least third year in a row (I must say specs are getting better over time). Vuzix Raptor planned for summer. Brother already selling transparent glasses. Microvision also has something to say.

Re:Vernor Vinge fans? (1)

Larryish (1215510) | more than 2 years ago | (#38902307)

Soeonebody actually watches that show?

The pilot episode was physically painful.

Clicked [Delete] so fast the mouse complained.

Saccades? (2)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900253)

How would these cope with saccades? The eye makes a lot of involuntary, unnoticed movements.

Re:Saccades? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38900275)

How will contact ads cope with pop-up ads, which I'm sure will be introduced (regardless of military/civilian issue) within ten minutes after these things become a reality? :p

"We're taking fire from right below the flashing 'BUY GOLD NOW' banner!"

Re:Saccades? (2)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900389)

You have a very high minded view of the average soldier. I'd expect most grunts to be surfing the *other* side of the net...

"We're taking fire from, uh hold on a sec, YEAH BABY, TAKE IT OFF RIGHT NOW! Be with you real soon, sarge!"

Re:Saccades? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38900587)

You have a very high minded view of the average soldier. I'd expect most grunts to be surfing the *other* side of the net...

"We're taking fire from, uh hold on a sec, YEAH BABY, TAKE IT OFF RIGHT NOW! Be with you real soon, sarge!"

Nah, he's talking about injected ads. In the near future, we will be able to fund our military through corporate advertising.

So for example, when the soldier begins taking fire, the contacts can pop up a nice ad in full S3d.

Soldier comes under fire. A beautiful woman appears before him and begins to speak:
"Are you feeling anxious and stressed? For life's tough situations, Kevlar is there to help. With a full array of post-market body armor modifications, we are here to satisfy all your combat needs. Simply blink your left eye three times, then blink your right eye twice, and we'll send you a Free Sample of our newest line of ceramic plate insert."

Solder, distracted by the woman, takes three rounds to the right leg and falls down. The woman vanishes, and a man wearing a white lab coat appears.
"Are you feeling dizzy, having trouble standing, or suffering from severe pain in the legs? Try Band-Aid Brand (TM) disposables Field Dressings and Compresses. For those rough spots when the competition can't cut the Mustard Gas, you know you can rely on Band-Aid."

Soldier, bleeding heavily and unable to move, begins to lose consciousness. His vital signs trigger another ad:
"Life has enough worries without having to deal with more once you're dead. Smith Mortuary and Post-Life Services, INC is here to satisfy all your family's needs. Simply roll your eyes back in your skull, and we'll send you a free pamphlet and a coupon good for a Free Consultation on setting up a living will. And for the low-low price of $99.99 we can file your Last Will & Testament right now. (some restrictions apply not valid in all states this is not an offer to solicit medical or legal advice smith mortuary and post-life services, inc. is not responsible for incomplete wills due to combat fatigue, death, or unexpected injury) CALL NOW"

Re:Saccades? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38900917)

You know what's fucking funny? You combine this with all the wargame FPSes people are currently playing and you've got a perfectly molded group of disposable soldiers. Best part: No PTSD because it's all just a game to them.

Re:Saccades? (2)

laejoh (648921) | more than 2 years ago | (#38901155)

"We're taking fire from, uh hold on a sec, YEAH BABY, TAKE IT OFF RIGHT NOW! Be with you real soon, sarge!"

Bloodninja, is that you?

Just wondering (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38900257)

Are soldiers actually using contact lenses on the battlefield? I'd think they might be a bit hard to keep clean and tidy, no? Does anyone know?

Re:Just wondering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38900319)

2 things.

1. I'm ecstatic they are working on such a globally useful product. Augmented Reality products are a very promising field to work in.

2. They could always go the cool route and wear old-timey biker goggles over the contacts. Fashionable and effective.

Re:Just wondering (3, Informative)

unkiereamus (1061340) | more than 2 years ago | (#38901073)

I've never worn contacts on the battlefield, but I have worn them in BFE, Honduras for extended periods while doing medical work, and I can say this, if you're comfortable with contacts (ie. have trained yourself out of rubbing your eyes, your eyes produce enough extra tears to keep them moist, etc) and they're even vaguely breathable (think of the ads which claim you don't have to take your contacts out at night), you can pretty much completely ignore them for days and weeks at a time with no serious issues.

Now, whether or not that holds true once you make them capable of running a display, I dunno.

Re:Just wondering (1)

fafalone (633739) | more than 2 years ago | (#38902183)

You can take it even farther than that. I've successfully ignored them for months at a time when I was in a situation where I was unable to obtain either new contacts or suitable glasses. Average was about 3 months before they HAD to come out. But even then they could go back in a day later when the irritation went away and be fine for a few more months.
Not that I'd recommend this, but it's just to say they hold up good under extended stays in extreme conditions.

Re:Just wondering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38901829)

Continuous wear contacts designed for 30 days at a time are currently in the market. They're currently in my eyes too. They've been on the market for a few years and take all the hassle out of keeping lenses clean. In fact, I got them because I was doing a lot of action-hero stuff (camping, triathlon, all sorts) and specs are way, way worse.

Short on details (3, Interesting)

Undead Waffle (1447615) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900271)

The article doesn't really give details on how it works. It sounds like these are just contacts you can project images onto. If that's true then you need a projector somewhere pointed at the eye. If that's true why bother with a projector rather than just using a pair of glasses? I'm not really seeing the advantage to this technology other than to say "hey we projected something directly onto someone's eye!"

Unless I'm mistaken and these have their own power source or something, which would be quite impressive.

Re:Short on details (5, Informative)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900355)

Professor Babak Parviz [eetimes.com] has done some early work along these lines. Sounds like it might be some sort of inductive loop powering the circuits in the lens, with the external source being worn on your clothing or some headgear.

The article linked also touches on the question I immediately had about this - how do you produce an image or text on a contact lens that's legible to the wearer? If you think about elementary optics, you quickly realize having something in focus on the lens is not the same thing as having it in focus at some point beyond the lens. Basically it sounds like you need to have extremely thin corrective lenses built into the contact itself so the displayed item will be in focus on your retina.

Re:Short on details (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38900753)

If you think about elementary optics, you quickly realize having something in focus on the lens is not the same thing as having it in focus at some point beyond the lens. Basically it sounds like you need to have extremely thin corrective lenses built into the contact itself so the displayed item will be in focus on your retina.

Not sure I understand that. I don't know anything about elementary optics so maybe that's why, but surely the eye just responds to a bunch of photons hitting it. It doesn't know anythign about where they originated and has no interaction with an actual object being looked at. If you create the same pattern of light directly in front of the eye as would be there as a result of a distant object then everything the eye does will be exactly the same as looking at a distant obejct - because there is no difference at all. Focusing will be the same, perception will be the same. Is creating a pattern of light like that more difficult than other patterns?

Re:Short on details (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38901133)

It is - that close, the pupil is not a single point but a disc, so the image of the display needs to depend on the angle at which photons leave it. It can be done using some additional focusing, quite easily - that's how existing head-worn displays work. The hard part is packing optics that usually need a few inches into a space less than a milimeter thick. Even for fresnel lenses, that's going to be difficult.

Re:Short on details (1)

janimal (172428) | more than 2 years ago | (#38903123)

Actually, Steve Mann's aremac displays images onto the retina via a display that is insanely close to the eye. The same principle could be used for a contact lens. In essence, the screen is a transparent LCD near the eye, while the image is projected via laser shone at a convex lens that is sitting directly on top of the LCD. The image quality isn't spectacular, but you get infinite field of focus, and that makes it just about the coolest invention of the last millennium.

http://www.google.com/patents/about/9_987_768_Aremac_based_means_and_apparat.html?id=1bGTAAAAEBAJ

Fundamental Question - do they rotate? (1)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 2 years ago | (#38902473)

Assume I have a fully addressable LCD contact lens, its powered somehow and receives signals somehow.

Do contacts rotate once they are on your eyeball?

Re:Short on details (5, Informative)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900367)

It looks like it may be similar to Innovega's display at CES. Details (heavy in the marketing gloss) are available here. [innovega-inc.com]

To summarize, the human eye is pretty bad at focusing on things nearby. Close one eye and hold your hand a couple inches in front of the other, and you'll see what I mean. In order to get around this so far, all the augmented reality glasses you refer to need to use some tricks to make it seem like the image is farther away than it really is. This makes the screens bulkier, more expensive, etc. The idea here is to create a contact lens onto which you can project an image so that it gets superimposed on one's vision, in focus, without any trickery, thus simplifying the design and allowing the AR devices to be lighter, cheaper, maybe use less power, and so on.

As to how well it works, I have no idea. The info I linked to is quite obviously intended to attract investors and should be taken with a grain of salt. But if DARPA is working in the same vein, that would lend it some support.

Re:Short on details (3, Informative)

zalas (682627) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900503)

From their diagram, it looks like each contact lens is composed of two lenses. Imagine making a tiny little lens that focuses a very close micro-display onto the retina and a normal sized contact lens for every-day use. Cut out the middle of the normal contact lens and insert this tiny little lens. You'll essentially have two "scenes" superimposed on your eye -- one focused on the micro-display and one focused on the surrounding environment. I imagine getting rid of aberrations on the tiny little lens is going to be very tricky and thus the resolution/image-quality of the entire display system might be quite limited. Another issue that's not so serious would be that your defocus bokeh would be kind of strange...

Would they really be so handy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38900281)

I wonder how tedious job would it be to find and reattach a lost contact lens during a battle in a dusty environment.

Re:Would they really be so handy? (2)

priceslasher (2102064) | more than 2 years ago | (#38901057)

I wonder how tedious job would it be to find and reattach a lost contact lens during a battle in a dusty environment.

In this case you simply have to carry on without the lens, like when your radio quits working, or you run out of your finite supply of ammunition.

Re:Would they really be so handy? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38902343)

Don't you just respawn?

Power, more power and signals (2)

wizzor (1321693) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900387)

What I'd be very interested in finding out, is how do they intend to power those things? Magnetic induction coils? Also an interesting problem, how to get the display signal in there? Is it going to be a general purpose display, or are the first versions things that have pre-defined fields? The latter seems easier from a bandwidth point of view, as even a relatively low resolution general purpose screen will need quite a lot of data to be transferred.

To all you nitpickers: (5, Insightful)

Zanterian (1624397) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900391)

First you make it possible,
then you make it practical.

Amazing (2)

TheInternetGuy (2006682) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900557)

This is going to do wonders for all the ugly people of the world

Re:Amazing (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900675)

This is going to do wonders for all the ugly people of the world

Could be... if only everybody else would wear the lenses and the ugly people control what is displayed.

Re:Amazing (1)

vlad30 (44644) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900707)

Almost right ... The Geeks will control what people see hacked in 3....2....

Re:Amazing (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38901577)

Instead of the Laughing Man you just make yourself the Good Looking Man.

My eyes r gettin weary, back is gettin tight! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38900585)

"For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence--on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.

Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match."
-- JFK

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false."
-- William Casey, CIA Director

Re:My eyes r gettin weary, back is gettin tight! (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38902391)

"For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence--on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.

Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match."
-- JFK

You're reading the wrong script again.

"You'll dress only in attire specially sanctioned by MiB special services. You'll conform to the identity we give you, eat where we tell you, live where we tell you. From now on you'll have no identifying marks of any kind. You'll not stand out in any way. Your entire image is crafted to leave no lasting memory with anyone you encounter. You're a rumor, recognizable only as deja vu and dismissed just as quickly. You don't exist; you were never even born. Anonymity is your name. Silence your native tongue. You're no longer part of the System. You're above the System. Over it. Beyond it. We're "them." We're "they." We are the Men in Black. "

X-Ray Specs? (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900643)

What no X-Ray Specs? I bet you could sell them to the Homeland Security folks, whether they worked or not. That would unnerve terrorist if they thought that the security folks could see through their clothes.

US soldiers had a similar problem in Afghanistan: country yokels thought that the soldiers' mirrored sunglasses could see through their wives burqas.

Re:X-Ray Specs? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38901593)

And terrorists thought that a $20k plastic shell with blinkenlights on it was a bomb detector. But then, so did the security people. Two placebos are better than one!

It's all fun and games until..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38900977)

Just wait'll some one slips acid into a guys MRE then streams an episode of Walking Dead through the display.

Eye surface imaging... (2)

geogob (569250) | more than 2 years ago | (#38901055)

I have no Idea how they hope to achieve that. The surface of the cornea is certainly not within the depth of field of the eye, regardless how close it focuses. Plus, they explicitly say that the idea is to allow the user to get enhanced visual information while focusing on targets far away. This is a fundamental problem with this concept.
Somehow, you have to shape the field so that it creates an overlapping image on the retina. Among the problem I quickly note are:

- Knowing how exactly to shape the field, implying you need to know exactly where the eye is focusing and track it actively.
- You need to compensate for eye movement... thus track those movement.
- And, last but not least, you need to actually shape the field to match.

All this is technically possible, but not within a compact lens. A large part of these problems have been implemented within laser eye surgery systems... which are somewhat bulky.

They might as well try to input data directly into the optical nerve... seems almost more plausible.

Re:Eye surface imaging... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38902409)

"Oh Wilbur, go on back to your bicycles....

That thing will never fly."

Born in an Augmented Reality World (1)

your_neighbor (1193249) | more than 2 years ago | (#38901067)

I always wonder how reality would it be for a children where virtual stuff is so real like everything else.

Re:Born in an Augmented Reality World (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 2 years ago | (#38901213)

I don't know, but I think the parking lot is full [courageunfettered.com]

augmented!=virtual (2)

XrayJunkie (2437814) | more than 2 years ago | (#38901071)

I would say, it is augmented reality, not virtual reality.
Virtual reality in lenses would be no fun at all - *especially* if the simulation is out of sync with the real world ^^

I never asked for this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38901537)

*sits half naked on couch brooding*

The Goggles, They do Nothing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38901569)

There, said it.

Sensory adaptation... (2)

james_van (2241758) | more than 2 years ago | (#38901617)

How do they get past the sensory adaptation issue though? Having a contact lens with an image on it applied directly to the eye will work for about 30 seconds to a minute, and then the brain filters that image out. Our eyes are constantly making tiny movements meant to change the light hitting any particular spot on the retina. If the same light hits the same spot continuously, that spot becomes "fatigued" and stops sending information to the brain. The brain then fills in the empty spot with assumptions from the area surrounding that spot. Unless the image on the lens was in a constant state of change, we would stop seeing it. Really, research into displays on contact lenses is old news, this has been going on for years. As far as I can tell, no one has come up with a solution for sensory adaptation. Now, before a flame war starts - I may well be wrong about any part of this statement. I'm operating from memory, and my very well be incorrect. If I am, please let me know.

Contact lenses in a hazardous environment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38901619)

Has anyone thought about the suitability of contact lenses in a warzone? It doesn't sound like the most practical of ideas.

I current wear RGP lenses to correct a major defect of vision, and after a long period of trying to get used to them (they hurt like hell to begin with) I can pop them in and practically forget about them. However, when I get a small piece of grit/dirt/eyelash/foreign body behind one of them it's pretty painful. Often to the point where I've got to stop what I'm doing to take out my lens and manually remove the irritation, or wait for my tears to flush it out.

Would a soldier in the middle of a battlefield be able to do this?

Re:Contact lenses in a hazardous environment? (1)

james_van (2241758) | more than 2 years ago | (#38901961)

i wore contacts in afghanistan, never had any problems. kept a pair of glasses handy just in case though. i knew a few guys that had to pull their contacts out due to sand/dirt/dry air/etc during combat, didn't sound like it was a big deal.

OH, NO! Intercepters! (1)

DC2088 (2343764) | more than 2 years ago | (#38902107)

... They put 'em in MY eyes, too! *Car crash*

Re:OH, NO! Interceptors! (1)

DC2088 (2343764) | more than 2 years ago | (#38902339)

... IntercepTORS. Crap. This site needs an edit button. Or for me to drink coffee before posting.

Mission Impossible (1)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | more than 2 years ago | (#38902399)

Reminds me of the latest Mission Impossible:Ghost Recall movie where they have contact that provide a sort of data feed to a local smartphone. Though thinking about it, there seems to be an easier way to implement than a contact for the purposes they were using it for...

Why it is always about damn military... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38902465)

Why no one seems to get military-sized funding for such research as applied to industrial design, gardening, or just reading books?

Images stabilized on the retina (2)

Egg Sniper (647211) | more than 2 years ago | (#38903045)

Images stabilized on the retina (say, for example any opaque elements on a contact lens) quickly become invisible. Our visual system relies on very rapid, continuous, small eye movements that constantly change the position of the image of the external world on the retina. A contact lens display, on top of every other technical hurtle, would have to compensate for this in a way that the visual system could readily interpret. It would also take a lot of practice to get used to display elements displaced from the exact center of your vision that you could never move your eye to focus on (like trying to get a better look at a 'floater' in your eye that keeps moving away).

And of course there's also, "CEASE FIRE! CEASE FIRE! . . NOBODY MOVE, I LOST A LENS"

no contacts (1)

Necron69 (35644) | more than 2 years ago | (#38903137)

I suppose this would be more exciting if I could still wear contacts. Sjogren's Syndrome has given me 20% of normal tear volume, and I have plugs in my tear ducts to keep what little moisture my eyes do produce from draining away so fast. I never go anywhere without a bottle of eye drops.

While I'm an odd exception, glasses would be far more practical and usable by more people. Just get Oakley to make a pair and get ready to profit!

Necron69

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