Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




TECH SPACE
See here now: Telescopic contact lenses and wink-control glasses
by Staff Writers
Lausanne, Switzerland (SPX) Feb 20, 2015


This is the latest version of the telescopic contact lens, with a quarter for scale. Image courtesy Eric Tremblay and Joe Ford. Courtesy of EPFL.

An estimated 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide. Age-related macular degeneration alone is the leading cause of blindness among older adults in the Western world. But this week at the AAAS Annual Meeting in San Jose, California, Eric Tremblay from EPFL in Switzerland unveils a new prototype of his telescopic contact lens--the first of its kind--giving hope for better, stronger vision.

The optics specialist also debuts complementary smart glasses that recognize winks and ignore blinks, allowing wearers of the contact lenses to switch between normal and magnified vision.

"We think these lenses hold a lot of promise for low vision and age-related macular degeneration (AMD)," says Tremblay, an EPFL researcher whose collaborators include Joe Ford at the University of California, San Diego, and others at Paragon Vision Sciences, Innovega, Pacific Sciences and Engineering, and Rockwell Collins.

"It's very important and hard to strike a balance between function and the social costs of wearing any kind of bulky visual device. There is a strong need for something more integrated, and a contact lens is an attractive direction. At this point this is still research, but we are hopeful it will eventually become a real option for people with AMD."

Inside the lens
The first iteration of the telescopic contact lens--which magnifies 2.8 times--was announced in 2013. Since then the scientists behind the DARPA-funded project have been fine-tuning the lens membranes and developing accessories to make the eyewear smarter and more comfortable for longer periods of time, and thus more usable in every day life.

The contacts work by incorporating a very thin reflective telescope inside a 1.55mm thick lens. Small mirrors within bounce light around, expanding the perceived size of objects and magnifying the view, so it's like looking through low magnification binoculars.

At this time, the telescopic contacts are made using a rigid lens known as a scleral lens--larger in diameter than the typical soft contacts you might be used to and valuable for special cases, such as for people with irregularly shaped corneas. Although large and rigid, scleral lenses are safe and comfortable for special applications, and present an attractive platform for technologies such as optics, sensors, and electronics like the ones in the telescopic contact lens, says Tremblay.

The final lenses are made from several precision cut and carefully assembled pieces of plastics, aluminum mirrors, and polarizing thin films, along with biologically safe glues.

Since the eye needs a steady supply of oxygen, the scientific team has spent the last couple of years making the lenses more breathable--a critical requirement. To achieve oxygen permeability, they are incorporating tiny air channels roughly 0.1mm wide within the lens to allow oxygen to flow around and underneath the complex and normally impermeable optical structures to get to the cornea.

Image quality and oxygen permeability in the lenses are ongoing challenges and objects of research, but results are improving as the mechanical and manufacturing processes are refined and better understood, say the scientists. The prototypes shown at AAAS demonstrate the latest versions.

Wink-controlled glasses
The researchers have also developed a novel method to electronically switch the wearer's view between normal, or unmagnified vision and telescopic. This switching functionality is crucial for the lenses to be widely useful for non-AMD sufferers who will be able to have magnification "on demand".

In the system debuted at AAAS, electronic glasses use a small light source and light detector to recognize winks and ignore blinks. The wearer will wink their right eye for magnification, and left eye for normal vision.

The glasses work by electronically selecting a polarization of light to reach the contact lens. The contact lens allows one type of polarization in the 1x aperture and another in the 2.8x aperture. Thus, the user sees the view where the polarization of the glasses and contact lens aperture match.

In a video of a lab demo shown during a scientific symposium at AAAS, you can see the optical view switch from magnified to unmagnified, and a second video shows the functionality of the wink-controlled glasses.

There are glasses already on the market for people with AMD that have mounted telescopes, but they tend to look bulky and interfere with social interaction. They also do not track eye movement, so you have to position your eyes and tilt your head to use them.

The combination of the telescopic contact lenses and optional blink-controlled eyewear represent a huge leap in functionality and usability in vision aid devices and a major feat for optics research.


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne
Space Technology News - Applications and Research






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





TECH SPACE
Getting in shape
Okinawa, Japan (SPX) Feb 20, 2015
New research from the Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics Unit at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) looks at how to create various non-spherical particles by releasing droplets of molten wax into a cool liquid bath. The physics behind this research shows how a range of non-spherical shapes can be produced and replicated with many possible industrial applications. ... read more


TECH SPACE
Application of laser microprobe technology to Apollo samples refines lunar impact history

NASA releases video of the far side of the Moon

US Issuing Licenses for Mineral Mining on Moon

LRO finds lunar hydrogen more abundant on Moon's pole-facing slopes

TECH SPACE
Scientists fail to explain strange plumes spotted on Martian surface

NASA's Curiosity Analyzing Sample of Martian Mountain

Mars Rover Nearing Marathon Achievement

NASA's Curiosity Analyzing Sample of Martian Mountain

TECH SPACE
London workshop teaches nuts and bolts behind tech

Critical NASA Science Returns to Earth aboard SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft

45th Space Wing, SpaceX sign first-ever landing pad agreement at the Cape

Russian research team explores vision complications for astronauts

TECH SPACE
More Astronauts for China

China launches the FY-2 08 meteorological satellite successfully

China's Long March puts satellite in orbit on 200th launch

Countdown to China's new space programs begins

TECH SPACE
Europe destroys last space truck to ISS

NASA, Space Station Partners Announce Future Mission Crew Members

Camera to record doomed ATV's disintegration - from inside

ATV to bid farewell to Space Station for last time

TECH SPACE
Soyuz Installed at Baikonur, Expected to Launch Wednesday

SpaceX launches deep-space weather observatory

SpaceX cargo craft returns to Earth

High seas force SpaceX to ditch bid to recycle rocket

TECH SPACE
Scientists predict earth-like planets around most stars

"Vulcan Planets" - Inside-Out Formation of Super-Earths

Dawn ahead!

Habitable Evaporated Cores

TECH SPACE
3-D printing with custom molecules creates low-cost mechanical sensor

See here now: Telescopic contact lenses and wink-control glasses

Getting in shape

Google, Mattel bring virtual reality to iconic toy




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.