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Bionic Contact Lens May Lead to Overlay Displays

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the i-can-has-that-now dept.

Displays 213

pfman writes "A University of Washington researcher has developed a contact lens including circuitry and a matrix of LEDs. Although not yet a working prototype, this may be a foundation for terminator/robocop style overlay displays in which computer graphics could be superimposed on your normal vision. 'Building the lenses was a challenge because materials that are safe for use in the body, such as the flexible organic materials used in contact lenses, are delicate. Manufacturing electrical circuits, however, involves inorganic materials, scorching temperatures and toxic chemicals. Researchers built the circuits from layers of metal only a few nanometers thick, about one thousandth the width of a human hair, and constructed light-emitting diodes one third of a millimeter across.'" Kotaku notes that this has some obvious gaming implications.

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Um, what? (2, Insightful)

tgd (2822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084058)

Someone needs to read a book on how the eye works.

You only have receptor density for reading dead center in your eye. You can't put Terminator-style displays of to the side of your FOV, because you can only see motion and coarse detail off dead center.

Re:Um, what? (5, Insightful)

webheaded (997188) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084080)

I highly doubt they planned putting the overlays anywhere but the center of the eye. If they're intelligent enough to make the thing, I'd have to assume they have someone there smart enough to tell them where it's going to work. ;)

Re:Um, what? (5, Funny)

GroeFaZ (850443) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084980)

Damn it man, you closely dogded a 7-digit UID, and you DARE to try to talk some sense into a 4-digit UID? He knows almost 3 orders of magnitude more than you! I bet those scientists in question don't even HAVE an account on slashdot!

Re:Um, what? (5, Informative)

debianlinux (548082) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084088)

I believe TFA was referring to placing peripheral components such as wireless reception on the part of the lens that is not used by the eye for viewing.

Re:Um, what? (2, Interesting)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084102)

You're assuming we can't make better eyes to match the technology (by the time the technology is implemented).

Re:Um, what? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084466)

It's not so much that our eyes can't do it, but our brain isn't wired for it...

Re:Um, what? (4, Interesting)

mOdQuArK! (87332) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084778)

Even adult brains have quite a bit of flexibility when exposed to additional or replaced sensory information. It might take some training, but there's no fundamental biological reason why adding artificial sensors to our own biological senses couldn't be handled by the brain.

Re:Um, what? (1)

XPisthenewNT (629743) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084104)

I took it as them saying that the electronics necessary to drive and power the display would be stored around the edges.

Though if course detail is available off center, they could make the edges of your vision light up as bright red, so that you'd know you are being shot at (like in video games, haha).

Re:Um, what? (1)

Tango42 (662363) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084148)

Actually, you can't see anything dead centre, because that's where the optic nerve joins the retina. That's why astronomers are often given the tip of looking slightly to the side of dim objects so that they're easier to see. The best detail is visible just off-centre.

Where it's best to put the data depends on what kind of data it is. If it's something you only need to be peripherally aware of (graphics, rather than text, presumably), it could be quite good off to the side. Having overlays in the middle of your field of view could be very distracting. Something which detects movement of the eye and scrolls the view could be quite good - then you could just look at the data you're interested in.

Re:Um, what? (5, Informative)

JesseL (107722) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084256)

You're confusing two different phenomena. The blind spot from the optic nerve is not in the center of the eye. The reason for the astronomers trick is due to the distribution of rods (brightness receptors) and cones (color rectors) in the eye. There are more cones at the center of the retina, but the more sensitive rods are distributed more peripherally.

Re:Um, what? (2)

Tango42 (662363) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084484)

I stand corrected. Thank you.

Re:Um, what? (3, Informative)

Jott42 (702470) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084370)

The optic nerve does not exit at the dead center of the eye; the blind spot, where it connects, is to the side of the center. But the center of the eye has the highest concentration of cones, which gives us colour vision. To the sides the rods are more common, these have better sensitivity, but are only registering the amount of illumination, not the colour. Thus an astronomer who is searching for faint objects in the sky is better of looking to the side of the object, using the rods of the retina, than trying to see the objects in colour with the cones, as they are less sensitive to light.

Re:Um, what? (2, Insightful)

graft (556969) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084234)

There are two orientations to consider: one is the orientation of your eyes, and the other the orientation of your face. You're right about the former, but for the latter you could easily place displays off to the side; you'd just have to look over to the left or right (eye-wise) to see 'em.

Re:Um, what? (1)

jdevivre (923797) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084510)

Someone needs to read a book on how the eye works.
I agree, and rather than correct all the bad science both in the article and the comments here, I'll just remind everyone what it is like to try and look at one of the floaters in your eye. Look at the white on the screen now, pick a floater of some tangible density, then try to look at it. Cat and mouse, huh? Except that Tom could actually catch Jerry someday...

Eyeglasses, ok. Contact lens? Whatcha gonna have? A ticker?

Re:Um, what? (1)

gnick (1211984) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084658)

As Tango42 pointed out above, the cat and mouse issue could be easily resolved by scrolling data based on eye movement. Seems like a great solution to me - Data available peripherally to be accessed through eye movement and an unimpeded center for a clear FOV.

Focus (1)

zymano (581466) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084512)

Can anyone see dust or debris on their eye ? Yes , but impossible to focus on.

Re:Focus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22084768)

Indeed. This display layer would need some sort of light-bending thingamajigg. Like a piece of material that could focus light.. Sounds awfully familiar :P

Tracking (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084844)

Of course it would only be useful to have text dead centre, but a vague blur to the side could tell you that there is something to read.

Re:Um, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22084992)

This is true. In fact the detailed image of the world that we "see" is an illusion. We can only see detail in a very small part of our field of view, but the eyes are constantly scanning and the brain puts those small detailed images together to create the illusion of a large detailed one. Think of joining together a bunch of small detailed satellite images to create a large panoramic one.

This will be a significant challenge in making such a system work. As the contact will move with your eye, to overlay something on your field of view would require constantly monitoring where your eyes are pointed, and changing the projected image accordingly.

Imagine for the satellite image example a similar technology which allowed overlaying images on a photo at the time it was taken, say using a similar system built into the camera lens. Now imagine using such a feature to label satellite images as they are photos are being taken. (Not at all practical I know, but a very good analogy for what is being discussed here.) Consider the difficulty of positioning the text exactly, so that the text joins seamlessly when the images are joined. That is very close to what is required here.

Do the Math (4, Interesting)

crrkrieger (160555) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084090)

Let's see, LEDs 1/3 mm across. My pupil is about 5mm, so that gives me a resolution of about 15 pixels across. Not so good, especially considering that to get that 15 pixels I would have to block everything else!

Re:Do the Math (1, Interesting)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084126)

Additionally, the human eye was not meant to focus on something just a couple of mm in front of it.

Go ahead, try it! You simply cannot focus that close to your eye.

Re:Do the Math (5, Funny)

ByteSlicer (735276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084908)

Go ahead, try it! You simply cannot focus that close to your eye.
Warning: do not look at fork with remaining eye!

Re:Do the Math (4, Insightful)

imgod2u (812837) | more than 6 years ago | (#22085040)

It wouldn't need to. The reason that focus is necessary is because the direction of incoming light rays are not aimed at the focal point for our light receptors. A display that is curved (and with LED's that emit light in the direction towards the natural center of the eye) would be a naturally focused image. In fact, one simply can't help *but* to focus on it.

Re:Do the Math (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22084176)

More math: how sharp will the image be when it's that close?
If I put down my glasses, I can see sharp up to about 50mm in front off my eyes. Anything 2mm from my eye would be one big blur. So the best resolution would be 1 LED.

You can't focus on something that close (4, Insightful)

MrSteveSD (801820) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084092)

So how is it useful?

Re:You can't focus on something that close (1)

Tango42 (662363) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084170)

They would presumably do it in such a way that it's clear when focusing at a normal distance, the same way VR headsets work.

Re:You can't focus on something that close (1)

MrSteveSD (801820) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084344)

For that you have to have optics between the display and the eye. There wouldn't be any room to do that with a contact lens.

Re:You can't focus on something that close (5, Funny)

Tango42 (662363) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084464)

Are you familiar with the standard purpose of a contact lens?

Re:You can't focus on something that close (1)

MrSteveSD (801820) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084524)

You would have to have a contact lens so powerful it would enable someone to focus on something a fraction of a millimetre in front of their eyes. If that was at all possible, it would also mess up their normal vision.

Re:You can't focus on something that close (1)

LandKurt (901298) | more than 6 years ago | (#22085038)

I agree. I doubt it's possible for a lens to focus on something at its surface. That would be infinitely close.

Maybe a laser diode would work. The system would have to project images onto the retina, rather than rely on the eye's lens to focus on a display at its surface.

Of course we're trying to outguess the optical experts designing the system. I'm sure they have a solution in mind. I just wish the article managed to explain what they're up to.

Re:You can't focus on something that close (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22084966)

For that you have to have optics between the display and the eye
Why? If the light is of similar intensity and in the same "pattern" as light coming from ten feet away then the eye is going to react in exactly the same way as if the light was coming from ten feet away. Isn't it? Is there some reason you can't generate it that way at close range? Given that you can generate light at all right in front of the eye, the eye can't know how far it's traveled.

Re:You can't focus on something that close (5, Funny)

currivan (654314) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084192)

My first app would be AdBlock for real life.

Re:You can't focus on something that close (4, Interesting)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084738)

The second app would be projecting a nude body onto everyone, or onto selected genders, with options for body type and when to do it.....

Two Questions: (3, Insightful)

JesseL (107722) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084106)

First: How are they envisioning powering a device like this?

Second: It's my understanding that human vision requires continuous eye motion to maintain visual perception. Try holding your eyeball still by (gently) applying finger pressure to it through your eyelid. You'll notice after a few seconds that your field vision slowly shrinks into nothing. If an image moves in perfect sync with your eyeball, isn't your brain likely to stop seeing it after a short time?

Re:Two Questions: (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084194)

RE: First: How are they envisioning powering a device like this?

by the picture of the lens I would say wires.
There's little pads big enough to glue/solder wire to.

Doesn't sound too comfortable but the rabbit didn't complain...

Re:Two Questions: (3, Interesting)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084612)

RE: First: How are they envisioning powering a device like this?
by the picture of the lens I would say wires.

Yes, and judging from the picture: multiple wires. But why, really? Wouldn't a single wire be enough? Place a contact pad elsewhere on the body, or use a conductive housing for the device connected to that single wire, and have it touch the body directly. That way you'd have the wire, and use the body/eyeball as return path for an electric current. Then superimpose a high frequency signal for data transmission.

Other options:
  • Short-wave electromagnetic waves (a la RFID)
  • Some sort of tranparent (non toxic!) materials layered in between to form a low-power battery
  • Shine infrared on the lens, use resulting temperature difference between outside and eye-side for thermo-electric power supply?
Just fantasizing offcourse...

Re:Two Questions: (2, Funny)

gnick (1211984) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084776)

Using the body for a return path would make for a highly resistive path to ground and likely a very inefficient circuit. Of course, you can cut the resistance considerably if you're willing to impale yourself with a return probe.

Here's an experiment:
1) Squeeze one of the probes on an ohmmeter between the thumb and fore-finger of one of your hands.
2) Press the other probe against your eye and note the resistance.
3) Now, take the probe you're holding in your hand and jab it into a random location on your body. Note the new resistance.
4) Get back on /. and share your results. Be sure to note both resistances, body part chosen, and approximate depth of penetration.

Re:Two Questions: (1)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084808)

"Some sort of tranparent (non toxic!) materials layered in between to form a low-power battery"

I don't know about you, but I strongly object to placing a battery of any form directly on my eyeball. It doesn't take a very high failure rate to make this one a bad idea (eye-dea?).

Yeah, yeah (1)

cutT (1222026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084392)

Now I can watch porn AND look at the road!

Re:Two Questions: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22084414)

If you had read the article, it says they plan to use a combination of power over radio frequency and tiny solar cells.

No more will we be told not to look at the sun!

Re:Two Questions: (0, Redundant)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084474)

It doesn't really matter since you can't focus on something in direct contact with your eye, anyway.

Re:Two Questions: (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084476)

From TFA:

The researchers hope to power the whole system using a combination of radio-frequency power and solar cells placed on the lens
My opinion, solar cells are just absurd, as it would only work in well lit areas, along with the infamously poor surface-area-to-power ratio of solar cells, and the limited "real estate" on the lenses.

RF power would be interesting, but aside from the whole people-not-wanting-beams-of-any-kind-shot-into-their-eyes thing, they would have to invent a pretty revolutionary (for it's tinyness) rectenna system. Along with the fact that the delivery system, in order to be efficient, would have to continuously track the position of the lenses, so that it wasn't just beaming power to over 100 times the surface area of the lenses, in the general direction of the lenses.

I don't know of any capacitors/batteries that would be of practical use in these lenses, either, so power would have to be continuous. Or your display would be constantly flickering in and out.

Re:Two Questions: (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084682)

There's plenty of body heat to go around to power such things... course making a generator so small as to utilize that would be quite tricky to be sure. This is all really just part of nano-technology in general, once they can power tiny nano bots traveling through our bodies this would just be right alongside that.

Re:Two Questions: (1)

JesseL (107722) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084814)

The trouble with using heat to power a device like this is that you need someplace for the heat to go in order to get any useful work from it. I can't see how you could get much of a thermal gradient across something as thin as a contact lens, or how you could get an effective heat sink/radiator on the surface of a contact lens.

Re:Two Questions: (1)

GroeFaZ (850443) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084880)

It's my understanding that human vision requires continuous eye motion to maintain visual perception. Try holding your eyeball still by (gently) applying finger pressure to it through your eyelid. You'll notice after a few seconds that your field vision slowly shrinks into nothing.

The effect you describe might also simply be the result of the very pressure you apply to your eyeball, making for a so-called "inadequate stimulus". You would cause the receptor cells in your eye to do something, but eyes were obviously not designed for sensing pressure, which makes the stimulus "inadequate".

If an image moves in perfect sync with your eyeball, isn't your brain likely to stop seeing it after a short time?

I don't think so, otherwise a scotoma [wikipedia.org] would not be an issue, would it? The spot remains at the same place in the field of view, yet it doesn't go away, obviously, otherwise there would not be a scotoma.
Furthermore, it seems to me that the existance of scotomae also shows that the eye and the brain are indeed able to resolve stimuli in arbitrary distance from the eye's receptor cells (in the scotoma's case, distance of 0). Remember that it's not the issue that a scotoma is the absence of receptor stimulation; the brain doesn't know or care whether your eyes' receptor cells work or not, it simply interprets any incoming information to make sense of them. And like in computing, a zero (no signal from a receptor/low voltage) is just as much information as a 1 (receptor cell firing/high voltage). Of course the info from a firing receptor cell is not binary, but the principle is the same.

Re:Two Questions: (1)

tyroney (645227) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084982)

ftfa

"The researchers hope to power the whole system using a combination of radio-frequency power and solar cells placed on the lens"

Thanks Eagle Eye (1)

SARSpatient (679467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084158)

It gives new meaning to "owned in the eye".

Re:Thanks Eagle Eye (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084530)

It did not have a meaning before this, so it's hard to see how it could have a "new" meaning.

Can't it be just on sunglasses? (4, Insightful)

grumpyman (849537) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084160)

Isn't that safer? I don't want implanted chips or digital display in my body.

Re:Can't it be just on sunglasses? (2, Interesting)

JesseL (107722) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084310)

My Acuvue contacts don't seem particularly unsafe. If they can make display contacts comparable to what I'm wearing now I'd give them a shot. If there are attached wires or too much wattage involved, I'll pass...

Re:Can't it be just on sunglasses? (2)

SirLurksAlot (1169039) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084622)

They may be fine most of the time, but you still have the risk of possible infection or abrasion. They can avoid those problems entirely by using glasses or another form of media which doesn't directly touch your eyes. Don't get me wrong, this is a cool idea, but I'm not particularly hot about the idea of contact lenses (I don't wear/need glasses btw.), much less contact lenses that will hold an electrical charge.

I think this will be moot in the semi-near future anyway. With the work they're doing with direct neural interfaces, they may be able to display a HUD by "simply" stimulating the visual cortex in a certain way.

Notice how I'm not cool with contact lenses touching my eyes, yet I'm somehow excited about the possibility of hooking a computer directly into my own brain? God I'm such a nerd.

Re:Can't it be just on sunglasses? (2, Funny)

wiggles (30088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084516)

I don't want implanted chips or digital display in my body.

Speak for yourself! I'm waiting for the day I can plug my ear into the USB port of my computer and download pr0n straight to my brain.

Re:Can't it be just on sunglasses? (1)

Selfbain (624722) | more than 6 years ago | (#22085032)

Ya I gave that a try and it doesn't work. The doctor thinks he might be able to restore my hearing though.

yuck! (3, Interesting)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084196)

What about those of us who are squicked by the thought of anything getting near our eyes, let alone contact lenses?

While I have no expertise in the field, I've always assumed that we'd first see this with glasses. The classic HUD on aircraft is an image projected onto glass in the pilot's line of sight. I figured we'd see this when we either had a) some sort of transparent material with a tiny lcd grid so that wireframe graphics could be overlaid on the real world objects or b) VR goggles scaled down to the size of comfortable glasses with the world projected inside with the overlays on top.

The one other variant I could think of for a projector technology would be glasses with a tiny low-power laser tracking the retina and beaming photons into it.

Thinking about VR, though, it does make you wonder about the interrogation potential for completely controlling someone's environment. If you thought the Ministry was scary in 1984, just imagine the interrogator controlling your entire reality. There was actually a surprisingly good TNG episode where Riker was put through VR interrogation so that he would reveal something important. Each of those constructed realities seemed entirely convincing at first but as he started to find flaws, the reality would shatter and be replaced by something new. Scary.

Re:yuck! (1)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084374)

What about those of us who are squicked by the thought of anything getting near our eyes, let alone contact lenses?

Well, I guess no super bionic capabilities for you!

Re:yuck! (2, Insightful)

brkello (642429) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084648)

Umm, you get over it like everyone else does when they have to wear contacts?

Pide Piper of all Implants! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22084202)

Just wait, soon they'll sensor what we are allowed to see through the implants? All we need is an Amish president after Abraham Lincoln to begin a program as this, and we'll all be forced the equivalent of procreation without seeing who or what we are doing it with.

get my point? [warmandfuzzyfeeling.com]

Sincerily,

  Sleepless Citizen

Environmental factors (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22084206)

Hmmm.... eyeball mounted circuitry, and cops with Tasers... what could possibly go wrong?

Six Million Dollar Man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22084208)

I wear contacts and would so get these but only if they make the Six Million Dollar Man do-do-do-do-do noise when I am squinting!

Re:Six Million Dollar Man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22084566)

The problem is that the lens costs $200, but the do-do-do-do-do costs $5,999,800

Useless - not at focal point. (1)

the_povinator (936048) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084228)

This is a useless invention because the image needs to be at a focal center - either at the retina, or at least a few feet from the eye. Here the image is in the *worst* place, at the iris; it will be totally blurred.

Re:Useless - not at focal point. (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084372)

This isn't of a HUD, the led's will be replaced with lasers and we can shoot laser beams from our eyes!!!

I don't look forward to the amount of burned and scared cleavage this new technology will bring.

does it affect karma (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084236)

Since it's not a true implant to get the clock to display floating in the corner of my eye. The actual implant cost me a few points of karma so that's all my cyber samurai had and... Wait this isn't a thing about Shadow Run?

Re:does it affect karma (1)

XorNand (517466) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084324)

I think you mean essence, not karma. That'll be a 10 yard penalty...

Re:does it affect karma (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084366)

Damn! I think I just rolled All 1's

Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22084238)

Now I can find Sarah Connor.

To a much lesser degree this is being done now (1)

rambag (961763) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084254)

Nike makes the Maxsight http://www.bausch.com/en_US/consumer/visioncare/product/softcontacts/nikemaxsight.aspx [bausch.com] Basically they have a version of the lenses that is supposed to make things like a tennis ball appear brighter which in turn makes it easier for you to track visually. From the description Developed by Nike and Bausch & Lomb, Nike MAXSIGHT is a soft contact lens that eliminates glare and increases contrast. The two tints, grey-green and amber, are tuned to different sporting needs. Grey-green is for sports played in bright sunlight, where visual comfort is a concern, and amber, is for sports like tennis that require tracking a fast-moving ball.

Re:To a much lesser degree this is being done now (1)

Speare (84249) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084322)

This is just passive wavelength filtering. The amber filters are exactly like the "Blue Blocker" driving sunglasses in the 1970s. Yawn.

well.... (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084274)

I, for one, welcome our new bionic rabbit overlords.

Don't rabbits have good eyes anyway? They seem to be eating carrots all the time.

Re:well.... (1)

Cochonou (576531) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084400)

As long as you can squish them by the terminating their Swiss banks credentials, they won't be much our overlords.

Re:well.... (1)

andphi (899406) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084500)

It must be Bunniiiieeess!

Bzzt! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22084306)

There goes your cornea!

"Rainbows End" FTW! (1)

halfelven (207781) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084338)

Funny, I am reading "Rainbows End" by Vernor Vinge these days, and now this article comes out. It's like deja vu all over again.

Solar cells? (2, Funny)

CarAnalogy (1191053) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084352)

The researchers hope to power the whole system using a combination of radio-frequency power and solar cells placed on the lens, Parviz said.

"Please stare into laser with remaining eye to recharge lens."

It's all fun and games... (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084356)

... until someone loses an eye.

circuits from layers of metal only a few nanometers thick

Hmm... A lens containing microscopic pieces of metal next to my cornea.
What could go wrong?

Re:It's all fun and games... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22084548)

And for communications, people on the go could surf the Internet on a midair virtual display screen that only they would be able to see.
I think that we'll lose more eyes from the people running around in public looking a pr0n while wearing these!

Re:It's all fun and games... (2, Insightful)

jam244 (701505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084756)

A lens containing microscopic pieces of metal next to my cornea. What could go wrong?
They said the same thing about regular contact lenses too.

The ultimate in poker distractions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22084360)

Lots of poker players wear anything they can to cover their eyes.

Imagine this as a sort of colored contact lens that can change. You could have your eye colors rotate or for poker have it look like your pupils are constantly dilating and contacting. I cant imagine looking at that wouldnt be be disturbing, especially if the eyes weren't in sync.

Glad I didn't get lasik! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22084418)

Geez, this is sweet! I really, really want this. But it occurred to me that I'm glad I didn't get Lasik, and did Orthokeratology instead (Lasik wasn't an option).

Honestly, if I'm going to have to wear contacts when this comes out commercially, I'd rather just upgrade my current lenses, and not have my cornea cut. Sure, one can do both. But I'd rather just do one.

Blink? (1)

Bill Dimm (463823) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084440)

Aside from all of the other problems people have pointed out, what happens when you blink? The display moves and then settles back into position? Movement of the lens isn't a big deal when the whole thing is clear, but I would imagine it would be really annoying when there is a display on it.

Re:Blink? (1)

ChinggisK (1133009) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084664)

I'm pretty sure regular contact lenses don't move when you blink, why would these?

OMFG THIS MEANS...... (1)

drewsup (990717) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084492)

Pr0n, 24/7 and no one else will know!!!

Driven by the p0rn industry (tm) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22084514)

All I want to know is, how long until we get contacts that overlay naked female bodies over what we see?

How does it focus? (1)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084522)

Although I am highly enthusiastic at the idea, I have long wondered how you can get the image to focus correctly on the retina without the user having to strain his eyes to see an image which is SO close.

Out of focus (4, Insightful)

Viadd (173388) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084562)

An LED at the surface of the eye's cornea/lens will flood the entire retina with light. It will appear as a red glare filling your field of view, and not as a little pixel of light. That is because the surface of the lens is out of focus, and so the wide angle light from the LED just spreads out.

If it were an array of lasers with tight beams, then it could work, but you can't make small lasers produce tight beams(due to the diffraction limit) without additional optics that couldn't fit under the eyelid.

Now how will I know? (1)

joey_knisch (804995) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084602)

Great. So now it will be normal to sit slackjawed staring into space and randomly laugh, cry, flinch, or whatever.

It was bad enough when everyone and their mother got little blinking "I'm not crazy, just on the phone" earpieces and proceeded to pretend they were deranged.

Wow...so many technical misconceptions (1)

BobGod8 (1123841) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084668)

I'm amazed at the sheer number of people who came up with ridiculous technical limitations. Focal issues? You think given that you have unlimited control over LEDs that it can't display an image that when actually VIEWED will appear correctly? You think we don't already do this with normal displays? Same goes for resolution issues; all it takes is adaptive control software. Power? Come on, article on bio-power not 3 months ago. And seriously, closing your eyes would make it better, not worse, just given lighting conditions. Everyone seems to forget the immense amount of control work that goes into a lot of our simple, everyday gadgets to make them appear to work seamlessly. I suspect the exact same principles will be applied here. This was announcement of a cool concept, not a finished object with all the kinks worked out. Sheesh...

Re:Wow...so many technical misconceptions (1)

Jott42 (702470) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084946)

There is this stupid little thing called physics - it is quite interesting at times, you should give it a try! (To have a led at the cornea of the eye give an image on the retina is not possible - and to compare this with a common LCD-display is uninformed. And adaptive control is quite effective at times, but there are limits to what it can do. Fundamental limits, that is.)

Whoa (1)

vladsinger (1049918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084678)

Strange that I was daydreaming about this exact same thing not so long ago...hmm.

Why can't they work on something more useful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22084690)

Seems like a lens you can effectively turn off would be a lot more useful than this. I'd prefer contacts to glasses, except I don't want to worsen my already shitty eyesight using corrective lenses when not necessary, i.e. reading or such. Needles to say, you can't exactly remove contacts constantly on a whim, and poking things in your eyes sucks anyway, so the less you have to mess with them the better. I wouldn't doubt there's a fairly huge market for this either. Of course I'm probably just dreaming here..

right. (1)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084740)

"yes boss, I'll get on with the progress report for this afternoon just as soon as Jenna Jameson finishes what she's doing in RetinaScope(T). And no, don't expect me to be standing up anytime soon."

as with all things technical/IT - this will be subverted for porn, spam and profit before you can sneeze.

I'm testing these now (2, Funny)

jam244 (701505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084792)

They're pretty neat but if you look at the sun it bur#!2k4#$#$#_#_####[NO EYEBALL FOUND]

Assuming the researchers aren't total morons... (2, Insightful)

TomRC (231027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084816)

It's possible that they've thought of the issue of focusing the image.

One possibility would be that the display would use tiny lasers, to project very narrow beams of light at just a small group of receptors on the retina.

Different eye shapes/sizes would seem to make that difficult, but there's probably some way to do it, even if it means having to have "prescription" displays that match your eyes.

Needs a course in basic optics (1)

monopole (44023) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084858)

Assuming that you could lay down the LEDs in a dense display, how could you see it? The contact lens is in contact with the cornea and damn near the pupil, nowhere near the imaging position of the eye. You can't image scratches on your contact lenses or cornea because it isn't anywhere near where the eye focuses. Of course you could generate diffraction patterns that would result in images when focused by the eye but that would require phase modulation and insane resolution.

Of course you could always put a cool LED light show on the irises. Just right for raves and clubs.

Putative eyeglass based designs use a frame mounted projector that fires into a beamsplitter which then re-images the display at a distance (often infinity). As a result they are far more practical.

The real cool thing is the opposite (1)

recharged95 (782975) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084910)

Using the sensor array as recorders vs lens/projectors.

Overlaying is great if the mind can make the information useful--and judging the internet, not much usefulness from all that information (or is it DATA?).

With nanotech, I look forward to taking pictures/video without even picking up a device and getting a true sense of taking a life-like photo. A true point and 'click' (well there' no click in contact lens). Wearing contact len cameras will sure elevate social networking (or social recording) to the next level, too.

I can see it now.... the Goatse virus (3, Funny)

Angelwrath (125723) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084918)

The Goatse virus for bionic vision.

Fir5t (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22085004)

NIGGER ASSOCIATION The facts and Engiinering project

Focus (0, Redundant)

HunterZ (20035) | more than 6 years ago | (#22085020)

What about focus? If you're looking at something far away, how will the display be sharp? In fact, how can it ever be sharp enough to read that close up?

My eyes also go crazy if they perceive something moving around in my field of vision closer to me than where I'm focusing; sometimes I have to close one eye in a car when looking at the road when windshield wipers are moving across the front window. I think it's a brain thing though, because sometimes I do the same when watching the speeder bike sequences in SW:RotJ for example :p
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