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Bionic contact lenses could allow users to read emails

Scientists envision that computer contact lenses currently under development could eventually be used to view images, read emails and even watch films.

COMPUTERISED CONTACT LENSES currently being developed could allow users to view messages and images without having to turn on a computer or glance at a smart phone.

The lenses work by projecting visual information into a person’s field of vision. Although the visuals being used are rudimentary at the moment, researchers envision that they could eventually include complex information such as emails and websites – and even films, games and directions.

It is also hoped that wearers could use the contacts to enlarge points in the distance which the naked eye would be unable to see.

Researchers at Washington University have reported good progress on the ‘bionic contacts’, having completed a round of animal trials that produced no reported ill side-effects, the Daily Mail reports.

Some practical problems have been noted – for example the prototype works only when a subject is no more than a few centimetres from a power source, so a way of charging the lenses would need to be developed.

The BBC reports that another team is working on similar technology, although for medical reasons: Swiss company Sensimed had produced a lens which uses computer technology to monitor the eyes of glaucoma sufferers.

The results of the study have been published in the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering.

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