A revolutionary new method which combines a telescopic contact lens along with smart glasses which looks much akin to normal eye wear can be a great help to persons with serious visual aberrations like age related macular degeneration.
The present see through wearable displays which augment the quality of vision are not user friendly, impractical and also not cosmetically ugly.
The zoomable lens has been made possible by the efforts of a team of academic and private developers and hopes to see their efforts enter clinical trials.
According to modest estimates there are 285 million people with serious vision problems. This includes age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is a painless eye condition which starts with a gradual loss of central vision and is also the major cause of blindness in the West.
Eric Tremblay, an optics specialist at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) partnered Joe Ford at the University of California-San Diego, and a number of other collaborators have developed this revolutionary contact lens.
Last week, at the AAAS Annual Meeting in San Jose, CA, Tremblay unveiled a new prototype of his telescopic contact lens – the first of its kind. Tremblay presented his discovery, the smart glasses which are worn with the telescopic contact lenses. The smart glasses allow the user to control the zoom feature of the contact lens with eye blinks.
Tremblay said, “We think these lenses hold a lot of promise for low vision and AMD. It’s very important and hard to strike a balance between function and the social costs of wearing any kind of bulky visual device. There is a strong need for something more integrated, and a contact lens is an attractive direction. At this point this is still research, but we are hopeful it will eventually become a real option for people with AMD.”
The telescopic contact lens magnifies 2.8 times. The first prototype of the lens came in 2013 and since then the developers have been fine tuning it.