The new telescopic contact lenses must be connected to the smart glasses so that it can recognize and distinguish between the users’ normal winking and blinking from the winks and blinks that determine the zooming. This way the users can switch between the normal vision and the magnified one.
Eric Tremblay, optics specialists from the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland, explained that the new contact lenses will be helpful for people with poor vision and age-related macular degeneration.
There are other glasses available on the market that have been designed for people with age-related macular degeneration, but according to experts, those glasses look bulky and have been known to interfere with the users’ social interaction.
Also, those glasses were not designed to track eye movement, so the users must position their eyes and tilt their head in order to use it.
The new version of telescopic contact lenses was announced for the first time in 2013. Since then, the scientists who invented it have spent time fine-tuning the membranes of the lenses and have developed different accessories that will make the smart eyewear more comfortable when used for longer periods of time.
The scientists have been working on making the new telescopic contact lenses usable for every-day life. The inventors explained how the telescopic lenses work: they incorporate an ultra thin reflective telescope that is inside the 1.55 millimeters thick lens.
Also, the lenses have small mirrors inside them that bounce the light around, which helps to expand the viewer’s perceived objects’ size. These mirrors also magnify the view and it’s like looking through binoculars with low magnification.
For now, the telescopic contact lenses are made using a rigid type of lens called a scleral lens. This type of lens is larger in diameter that the usual soft contacts used by people with certain eye conditions, such as irregular shaped corneas.
The prototype of the new telescopic contact lenses was unveiled at a special meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, held in San Jose, California.
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