Monday, January 28, 2008

Eye'll Be Back

I always thought it would be fun to be the Terminator.  Not the lame female one but the one from the first sequel.

Contact lenses with Terminator vision

By Richard Gray, Science Correspondent

An electronic contact lens has been developed that will enable maps and videos to be beamed before the wearer's eyes.

The bionic lens has microscopic circuits fixed to a flexible plastic. The scientists who created the device say the lenses could eventually provide computer-aided vision similar to that of Arnold Schwarzenegger's robotic character in the Terminator films.

Arnold Schwarzenegger as Terminator
Eye'll be back: Arnie's high-tech Terminator vision may be possible with the bionic lens

Drivers and pilots would have essential information - their speed and direction, for example - superimposed in front of their eyes, in a massive advance on the kind of "wearable displays" now available, which are spectacles that have images displayed on the lenses.

A prototype of the lens has been built, with light-emitting diodes - LEDs - embedded in it to flash up information. Its built-in antenna will use wireless technology, similar to that used in the home, to beam information to the lens, allowing wearers to surf the internet without taking their eyes off the world around them.

Babak Parviz, the electrical engineer behind the project at the University of Washington, said: "We have demonstrated some of the key technologies required to make a sophisticated functional contact lens. We hope to hook up a wireless link… for updating images and reporting the state of the lens."

Microscopic electrical circuits link up the LEDs and the antenna harvests energy from radio waves to power the lens. Holes which are each 1,000 times thinner than a human hair are etched on to the lens.