You could soon read emails on your contact lenses!

You could soon read emails on your contact lenses!

In fact, the futuristic technology has taken a step nearer, thanks to an international team which claims to have developed a prototype lens that could potentially provide the wearer with hands-free information updates.

The scientists from Washington University in the US and Aalto University in Finland have constructed a computerised contact lens and demonstrated its safety by testing it on live eyes, and there were no signs of adverse side effects.

At the moment, the contact lens device contains only a single pixel, but the team sees this as a "proof-of-concept" for producing lenses with multiple pixels which, in their hundreds, could be used to display short emails and text messages right before one's eyes.

The scientists said the device could overlay computer -generated visual information on to the real world and be of use in gaming devices and navigation systems. It could also be linked to the user's body to provide up-to-date information on glucose levels, which could prove medically important. The contact lens created by the scientists consist of an antenna to harvest power sent out by an external source, as well as an integrated circuit to store this energy and then transfer it to a transparent sapphire chip containing a single blue LED, 'The Daily Telegraph' reported.

One major problem the researchers had to overcome was the fact that the human eye, with its minimum focal distance of several centimetres, cannot resolve objects on a contact lens. Any information projected on to the lens would probably appear blurry.

To combat this, the scientists incorporated a set of Fresnel lenses into the device; these are much thinner and flatter than conventional bulky lenses, and were used to focus the projected image on to the retina. The findings have been published in the 'Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering'.

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