Tuesday, January 22, 2008

HUD? That's so old-fashioned...

There's a group at the University of Washington that is working out how to make contact lenses with video displays inside them. No, really. They have the circuits, the display, the antennae (power and signal) all integrated into the lens itself. Here's a picture of one:

Photo: University of WashingtonYou know how the robots in Terminator scan objects and get data on what is in their field of vision? You could have that too:

Subject: Johnny Fairplay
Note: He owes you $1,500
Last Encounter: Jan 5, 2008 - ran like a cockroach


Target: 325 yards
Wind: 15 knots, steady from L
Elevation: -24 feet
Club: Big Bertha


Sex: Female
Height: 5'6"
Waist: hard to tell, negligee is in the way
Chances: 1000 to 1 with lens in, 2 to 1 without

The group, led by Babak Parviz, a UW EE prof, has succeeded in integrating the materials and the manufacturing processes for two very different products - a very soft gel for ophthalmic uses and highly flexible substrates for circuits. No human has yet tried them out (that they will admit to), but several rabbits have been subjected to 20 minute sessions of wearing them.

My question is about focus: whenever anything is floating about on my cornea, it is definitely not in focus, so how is the eye going to see anything but a blurry dot? Maybe the LEDs are focused on the retina somehow?

We take another baby step towards our machine future. Skynet will exist, resistance is futile, you will obey.

In any case, the concept is very intriguing, and I can't wait for BlueTooth contacts to appear. Me first! Me first!

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