The future may be nearer than we thought, as scientists led by Joe Ford at the University of California San Diego have designed a prototype contact lens that is entirely controlled by the eye’s movements. Those who use the contact lens can zoom them in or our by simply blinking twice.
The biomimetic lens were created out of stretchy polymer films that react to the electric signals produced by the eyes when they make a movement, for instance, when they blink. Also known as electrooculographic signs, people are even able to generate these electric impulses when they are sleeping.
The lead researcher, Shengqiang Cai, stated in an interview by New Scientist that even if your eye cannot see a thing, many people can still move their eyeball and produce this electro-oculographic signal.
This is not about the sight
What is even more impressive, is the fact that the lens does not change according to sight. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t require sight to change its focal point at all. The focal point adjusts because of the electricity produced by the movement. Therefore, even if you cannot see, but can blink, the prototype lens are capable of zooming in or out.
What makes this invention all the more impressive is, in fact, seeing the change in focus. However, do not get rid of your reading glasses or binoculars just yet. The invention is still in its early stages. As Gizmodo reported, the prototype only works in a special gear, and trial participants had several electrodes positioned around their eyes.
Aside from how excellent it is, scientists are hoping this invention they managed will help in the fields of visual prostheses, adjustable glasses, and remotely operated robotics in the future.
A paper elaborating the team’s discoveries was published this month in Advanced Functional Materials.