As a Behavioural Optometrist at Central Vision Opticians, and as Chief Optometric Officer and co-founder of a vision tech start-up I have a passion for the latest technology and the amazing possibilities it can bring to improving our vision and lives.
Following the exciting news of a revolutionary proof of concept released by a team of scientists from the University of South Australia, we are excited to report about the exciting potential in this technology. Here are my views on the top six game changing contact lens technologies available very soon.
- An image or video displayed directly on your contact lens: Scientists from the University of South Australia have managed to use a polymer coating on a contact lens that allows for the conduction of electricity. This has the potential to hold electrical circuits including a display so the wearer can view images or video. This breakthrough could be the future of wearable displays.
- Contact lens cameras: Adding to the potential of contact lens displays and also the miniaturisation of cameras to miniscule (and soon to be microscopic) sizes, the ability to capture an image from a device implanted on a contact lens has been developed by Google X Labs.
- Diabetic blood sugar monitors: Another innovation by Google, tiny sensors embedded in a contact lens can continuously and dynamically measure the glucose levels of a diabetic, eliminating the need for needles and blood testing providing realtime data. This could save lives.
- Glaucoma and Intra-Ocular Pressure (IOP) monitoring: Glaucoma is the silent thief of sight, it can slowly eat away at your peripheral vision, with up to 40% loss before a sufferer would notice. It is linked to the pressure in your eye (IOP). Sensimed have developed Triggerfish, a contact lens that measures IOP continuously to give an early warning regarding IOP that could save the sight of millions of people.
- Drug delivery: An Ophthalmologist from Baylor College of Medicine in Dallas has co-authored a study into dissolvable nanowafer contact lenses that could slowly release medicine to the eyes over a period of time. This could help anyone who struggles to instill drops, from babies to those with problems such as arthritis or using an eye drop bottle.
- Smart Magnification: Optics specialist Eric Tremblay from the Ecole Polythecnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland has developed a special telescopic contact lens that lets you magnify detail by winking with your right eye, or wink with your left eye for normal vision. This could be huge boon to millions of blind people.
These fantastic new discoveries and innovations will soon be reaching the public. They have the possibility of saving lives and sight. We’ll soon see augmented reality that will immerse our vision with the kind of technology that was once the realm of science fiction. All in the blink of an eye.