Researchers Create Contact Lens That Works Like a Zoom Lens, Controlled by Blinking

Researchers Create Contact Lens That Works Like a Zoom Lens, Controlled by Blinking

A new contact lens that works in the same manner as an advanced zoom lens for the human eye has been revealed by scientists. Reports claim users can zoom simply by blinking, or looking around.

The team behind the creation of the new tech come from the University of California San Diego, and unleashed details of it within their new paper inside the journal Advanced Functional Materials, called “A Biomimetic Soft Lens Controlled by Electrooculographic Signal.”

Similar to that of a regular contact lens, the equipment is mounted to the human eye via five electrodes. These electrodes are placed at different spots around the eyeball, and allow for the user to zoom in their view simply by double blinking in quick succession. An electrical charge is applied to the polymer film layers of the lens, expanding or contracting it to change its thickness.

It’s not entirely the first of its kind, given that scientists based in Europe announced a blink-to-zoom 2.8x contact lens back in 2013. The difference is, this new technology is capable of responding to actual eye movements.

By the user looking up, down, etc, the contact lens can be controlled to look in various directions.

It’s early days, meaning it’ll likely be years before the contact lens becomes accessible to the public. The hope, though is that one day it can be used for the likes of visual prostheses and remotely operated robotics.

Lead image: Kamil Saitov, licensed under CC BY 4.0.

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6 Comments

Mark Dunsmuir's picture

Have you been terrified by Years and Years yet (BBC/HBO)? This is freaking me out!!

Lenzy Ruffin's picture

I alternate between contacts and eyeglasses, but I wouldn't want something like this attached to my eye.

But when they adapt this technology for eyeglasses, this will become the replacement for bifocals / reading glasses for those above a certain age. It would be very cool for eyeglasses to be able to detect that you're looking at something close and adjust accordingly.

Dont we all blink all the time no matter what?

Steven Magner's picture

I wear contacts and blink quite a bit with them in. After a long day of working and driving home, I find the contacts will dry up too much and I blink more. Nothing sounds more amazing than having zoom capable lenses in my eyes, drying up, while on the road...

Spy Black's picture

Or if you have a twitch LOL.

Jessadayut Speers's picture

What is this salty water? Must be magic!