According to researchers, in a new study published yesterday, they’ve engineered a contact lens that will allow people to auto-focus their eyesight, similar to that of eyes from a fish. This marks a turning point for our species, as the human eye becomes the next testing ground for advanced technological development.
“We demonstrate an artificial eye inspired by superposition compound eyes and the retinal structure of elephantnose fish. The bioinspired photosensitivity enhancer (BPE) that we have developed enhances the image intensity without consuming power, which is achieved by three-dimensional, omnidirectionally aligned microphotocollectors with parabolic reflective sidewalls.”
– Hongrui Jiang et al.,
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Photo Credit: Surian Soosay/FlickrCC
This research joins others which primarily focuses on tech-enabled contact lenses to help combat eyesight conditions and other diseases. For example, Google is working on a contact lens that gives the wearer information about their medical condition. Whereas Microsoft is developing a contact lens that can sense blood glucose.
The end goal of this research appears to be the development of bionic eyes. As I said, the human eye is an evolutionary work of art, but there is also room for improvement. Rather than natural selection having a hold of the paintbrush, we are now taking matters into our own hands. Instead of merely using technology to fix whatever mistake nature had made, we’re developing technologies that will allow us to overcome our biological limitations, starting with our eyesight.
Imagine having a set of bionic eyes which allow us to see objects that are miles away and focus on them as if they were only a foot away. We’ve developed technology that allow us to do this today, such as cameras and telescopes, but now our aims are to integrate said technology into the very fabric of our eyes. Yes, our primary focus today is in helping people overcome disease, but what’s stopping us from going beyond that?