New Space and Tech

Contact Lens Computer Displays

By Keith Cowing
April 8, 2013
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A single-pixel wireless contact lens display, Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering

“We present the design, construction and in vivo rabbit testing of a wirelessly powered contact lens display. The display consists of an antenna, a 500 × 500 µm2 silicon power harvesting and radio integrated circuit, metal interconnects, insulation layers and a 750 × 750 µm2 transparent sapphire chip containing a custom-designed micro-light emitting diode with peak emission at 475 nm, all integrated onto a contact lens. The display can be powered wirelessly from ~1 m in free space and ~2 cm in vivo on a rabbit. The display was tested on live, anesthetized rabbits with no observed adverse effect. In order to extend display capabilities, design and fabrication of micro-Fresnel lenses on a contact lens are presented to move toward a multipixel display that can be worn in the form of a contact lens. Contact lenses with integrated micro-Fresnel lenses were also tested on live rabbits and showed no adverse effect.”

Wireless contact lens display now a reality, Extremetech

“It has finally been done: A team of US and Finnish bioengineers have embedded an antenna, radio receiver, control circuitry, and LED into a wearable contact lens. If you’re a rabbit, you can hop along to their research lab at the University of Washington, Seattle, and try it out right now — but if you’re a human, you’ll still have to wait a couple more years for the bionic, Terminator-like HUD of your dreams.”

Think about this: Imagine having this system instead of the Heads Up Displays currently used to land spacecraft. Or if you are doing an EVA in space or are out on the surface of the Moon? You could use augmented reality apps and “see” overlays of maps on terrain ahead of you, schematics of things in front of you, system status without the distraction of averting your gaze to a screem, or frequencies your eyes normally do not see. It could be like have Geordi’s Visor – without the visor.

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.