Telescopic lens zooms with a wink

EPFL‘s Eric Tremblay and DARPA have developed contact lenses with integrated tiny telescopic lenses to boost vision. The lens is controlled by smart glasses that respond to the winking of an eye, and provides magnification of up to 2.8 times.

This can be a visual aid for Age-related Macular Degeneration and other conditions, in addition to the originally intended military use.

The prototype is .06 in. thick and contains a very thin, reflective, two-part magnifying region that is turned on and off by defined eyelid movements.  It can differentiate between longer, deliberate winks and normal blinks.  The accompanying glasses  allow the wearer to wink with the right eye to zoom in, and wink with the left eye to return to standard vision.

The telescoping lenses are created with larger, rigid scleral lenses, placed on the the white of the eye.  They are made from precision-machined plastic components, tiny aluminum mirrors, and thin polarizing films,  held together with biologically safe adhesives. The necessary constant stream of oxygen is provided by tiny air channels across the structure of the lens.

Wearable Tech + Digital Health NYC 2015 – June 30 @ New York Academy of Sciences