SciFi contact lenses – the biggest monitor is the smallest

by | Mar 30, 2023 | Living in the Future | 0 comments

Early in Terminator 2 we are privy to a view from the terminator’s perspective. Cast in villainous shades of red, it shows an augmented reality overlay of the world, identifying objects and individuals and providing some analysis of what is on screen.

New developments in contact lens technology are closing in on making that a reality.

No, not the killer robots teleporting back from the future to murder people. The display of information in a person’s eyes. Think Google Glass for people too cool to wear glasses (99% of people are too cool to wear Google Glass). Portable, discreet, fully customizable, you’d be able to access connected data without having to glance at a separate screen.

Now, today’s version of that technology hasn’t gotten there yet, but we’re closing the gap. Companies have had prototype contact lens displays with grain-of-sand-sized (I’m resisting using GroSS as an acronym) chip. Given the rate of progress when it comes to miniaturization and the fact that my phone has more computing power than NASA did in the 80s, it’s probably only a matter of years before fully functional displays are available.

Right now, biotech manufacturers are working on more single-purpose applications, such as glaucoma detection and retinal mapping. But imagine that as these technologies mature, some of these functions will get rolled into multi-purpose devices, much like how text, camera, and internet browsing came together in the portable phone to create the modern smart phone.

There are still problems to overcome. Unlike simple corrective lenses, researchers need to incorporate many components that would pose a heath risk if they were damaged. However, like the miniaturization process, this is one that science should eventually overcome.

Personally, I’ve tried contact lenses. Don’t care for them. I’ll be waiting a little longer for the fully-implantable robotic eyes.

Want to read more? Here’s the original article:
Sci-fi no more: Introducing the contact lenses of the future

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