Augmented reality contact lenses almost here: focus on emails and gaming

A leap in augmented reality could be just around the corner as developments in nano-projection have enabled scientists at the University of Washington to say that such tech would be not only feasible, but also safe.

After testing on rabbits, the researchers say that their prototype could pave the way for a contact lens that could project emails to the wearer - however as it's still early stages the working model will only function if it is within close proximity to a wireless battery - we're talking centimetres here.

If more pixels could be embedded within a flexible lens, something the researchers can envisage, then far more complex imagary could be fed to the user, though a single pixel would be enough to dislplay video game content.

The animal testing verifies that, "antennas, radio chips, control circuitry, and micrometre-scale light sources can be integrated into a contact lens and operated on live eyes," said Babak Praviz of the University of Washington

The main issue for the scientists appeared to be the way the human eye focuses on objects that are close; anything closer than a few centimetres away ends up being blurred. However, this particular obstacle has been overcome by shortening ther focal length of the lens, meaning images are clear even in extreme proximity.

All sounds very intriguing, if initially a little unnerving. We'll be keeping a close eye on this one - sorry!

Image credit - maikel_nai