New contact lenses have just been developed that can actually zoom in 2.8 times for anyone wearing them. Current designs require that the user wears a pair of glasses to activate the magnification, but I would imagine that will not be the case indefinitely.
The research was led by Eric Tremblay and Joseph Ford who believe the technology could be useful for those suffering from macular degeneration, a common cause of vision problems often leading to blindness.
“The current treatments for macular degeneration include invasive surgery or to wear glasses with very thick lenses. Although research continues, development of this new magnifying lens technology has the potential to improve the quality of life for millions of people around the world by using these ‘normal’ looking lenses.” – Ian Anglin
Beyond the medical application, there’s plenty of excitement around the use by those with perfectly normal vision. The ability to zoom in and magnify your vision with ease would be great, and I think at the right price, a lot of people would be interested. This would be great for jewelers or anyone working in detail like sculptors or painters, not to mention the possible military applications.
Unfortunately, it may be some time before these are commercially available. The project is still very much in the research stage, but does expect to begin new clinical trials in November 2013.
These aren’t the only hope for those suffering from visual impairment. Incredible trials with stem-cell technology have successfully restored sight to blind mice, and could has a great potential for human development.
- New Telescopic Contact Lens Magnifies Vision Three Times (singularityhub.com)
- Telescopic contact lens magnifies vision by 2.8 times on demand (wired.co.uk)