Can’t read the fine print on important documents? Have trouble catching traffic signs due to failing vision? Get your telescopic contacts today, and never worry about seeing distant things up close again!
This certainly sounds like something out of a sci-fi infomercial spoof, but a group of scientists from UC San Deigo, EPFL (Switzerland’s Polytechnical School), and the Pacific Science and Engineering Group have collaborated to design and release their model for “a telescopic contact lens with independent optical paths for switching between normal and magnified vision“.
[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”B001GXF35M” locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31cM-8Fd5GL._SL160_.jpg” width=”160″]The lens is very thing – just 1.17mm thick- which would allow for it to be worn without discomfort. It magnifies light that enters through the edges, and uses aluminum mirrors to reflect the waves approximately four times before it is directed to the edge of the retina. This allows for the incoming image to be magnified 2.8x into a clear picture. However, the front of the lenses are equipped with a special polarizing filter, so the wearer will have normal vision until they place on a pair of 3D TV glasses (available off the shelf to most consumers).
The contact models that are currently on the market are made out of PMMA, which is the same polymer that contact lenses used to be made out of. The new design would make the switch to RGP polymers, which is the same substance that contact lenses are currently created from. This would enable that all users could wear them with minimal discomfort, whether they are intended for poor eyesight, or simply just to gain abnormally excellent vision.
[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”B0065FGX8W” locale=”us” height=”107″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41AivlE-h3L._SL160_.jpg” width=”160″]Future Implications: This is an interesting technology that could be useful for a multitude of things. I will be interested to watch and see where it goes in the next few years, but I hope they don’t run into too much red tape. Considering how advanced our medical technology is getting, poor eyesight is becoming a very outdated, menial issue – and I can only imagine that we will start having better solutions for it in the near future. Hopefully, this is one of them.
Image Sources: Newsfeed