The internet is abuzz with reports of a new technology developed in Belgium — a spherical curved LCD display which can be embedded in a contact lens and handle projected images using wireless technology. The newsworthy advancement is that the new system allows the entire curved surface of the lens to be utilized for display rather than just a few pixels at the center of the lens.
“Now that we have established the basic technology, we can start working towards real applications, possibly available in only a few years.”
Professor Herbert De Smet, Ghent University’s Centre of Microsystems Technology
This increased resolution could allow simple information, from messages to GPS directions, to be displayed on the human eye. The innovation is the first step towards “fully pixelated contact lens displays” with the same detail as a television screen. There are also potential medical applications, for example the lens could dynamically darken to control the light transmission to the eye’s retina in case of a damaged iris.
The common leap to combining a this lens technology with smart glasses (like Google’s Project Glass or Vuzix’s M100) is inevitable and exciting. There seems to be an increasing frequency in the development of “human augmentation” technology… the race now is to see what becomes available to the consumer first.