The augmented reality future we were long ago promised has been slow to come around, perhaps restrained most by the basic biology of our own eyes, which are unable to properly see detailed images placed very near the pupils. But via technology developed in part with a certain government agency, Washington-based Innovega has created a unique contact lens technology that allows the eye to focus on images projected very close to the eyes as well as objects in the real world beyond.
Simply put, the technology opens the door to augmented reality systems that don't require some kind of bulky, virtual-reality-headset-from-the-'90s peripheral visor or helmet. Instead, Innovega's tech relies on images protected on a normal-looking set of specs and a pair of nanotechnology-infused contact lenses that provide megapixel clarity of that up-close imagery while still allowing the eye to focus on the world beyond.
At least, so goes the company's CES pitch, which you can judge for yourself below. We haven't tested the product, so we can't really speak to its awesomeness. But DARPA can. The Pentagon's blue-sky research wing announced yesterday that Innovega has developed for the agency a new breed of contact lenses that allow "a wearer to view virtual and augmented reality images without the need for bulky apparatus" and that allow users to focus on both faraway objects and images placed very close to the eye.
For DARPA's part, Innovega is working as part of the Soldier Centric Imaging via Computational Cameras (SCENICC) program, which aims to eliminate the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capability gap at the individual soldier level. Read: AR setups that plug individual soldiers right into drone feeds and other intel streams while still allowing them to maintain their peripheral vision and situational awareness. Meanwhile that could lead to more immersive 3-D television and gaming experiences for the rest of us. More tech detail via the video below.
I really hope technology like this actually makes it into everyday life. This would be awesome to have.
I have robot eyes!
Science always asks "can we," but doesn't seem to ask "should we."
They are making a contact, so I can focus on the distance of my glasses and see it in detail, so I can wear a video visor like glasses and see in great detail?
Well, I wear glasses and I can by the Sony 3D visor and then see all the detail I want, without the contacts.
It is going to take a lot of engineering R&D to create what this guy wants and I am not sure if he will get the same pay back.
I think it is great to create some kind of robotic eyes or any type of technology that helps people to see or blind people to see! I am definitely for helping people see in daily life!
Science sees no further than what it can sense.
Religion sees beyond the senses.
It took them this long? I thought it was a fairly obvious idea...
-Spouting a fountain of nonsense since 1995-
Elliot- The idea might be obvious, but the ability to make the idea a reality is the difficulty. But clearly, DARPA is years behind the lenses you crafted, right?
Vuzix already has technology that does this without the need for a contact lens. It seems a bit redundant. It solves a problem that doesn't actually exist.
If the display was actually built into the lens then I'd be excited.
You dont suppose that this technology could eventually adapt into some kind of 3D computer?
like just look down at your desk and then a virtual keyboard appears with a screen you can move with a swipe of your finger. It would give someone complete privacy because only you could see it. Of course it would take more than just the lenses... maybe somekind of portable version of the Kinect?
Oh no doubt this that kind of technology will someday exist Baaron. It's only a matter of time and whether or not it will happen in your or my lifetime.
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." - Carl Sagan
What is the Rabbi from 'To Catch A Predator' doing out of prison? lol
just imagine the technological wonders that will be had in the next 20 years...
20 years ago computers were bulky and had very little specs, today my cell phone has a dual core processor, a multitouch screen, and a massive amount of storage space, about 60 gigs, and its ultra thin.
it wont take many more advances til we have fully bionic eyes, possibly with full on night vision and recordable video streams.
All I ever wanted was transition contacts so I wouldnt have to wear sun glasses...but I like the bionic eye ideas better.
- RELIGION AND SCIENCE GO HAND IN HAND, NEITHER CAN DISPROVE THE OTHER!-
I want these, but I want it to look like Geordi's visor and for my eyes to look bionic. I can do the blinking led's on the sides, myself. hehe
I could see those paranoid among us having a rear view camera so they could always see what's happening behind them!
With this technology we can rebuild him. Better, faster, stronger!
I just hope this augmented eye does make that beeping every time you use it.
Violence must be eradicated; Kill all the violent people you know!!
doesn't, damn it, doesn't
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I was wondering while I read the article about how many of the LED's a person would be able to see in different lighting environments. How much of a potential image would be seen by a constricted pupil in a bright setting compared to a dilated pupil in a darker setting? Also, would the light coming from the LED's in the contact lenses cause the pupil to constrict further?