Wednesday 25 February 2015

Telescopic Contact Lenses Could Magnify Human Eyesight

Telescopic Lens – Magnifying Objects – 2.8 Times

Interesting development have been coming up in the world of contact lenses with scientists making great headways in creating a pair of `smart lenses for diabetic who are capable of monitoring glucose levels as well as Google inventing a set with an in-built cameras. We now have optics researchers from Sweden, developing contact lenses which can zoom in on an object at the blink of an eye where a simple wink tends to activate the telescopic lens and help people to read as well as recognize faces easily.

The prototype lenses which was unveiled recently at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting helps in magnifying objects up to 2.8 times and probably someday could be useful for those with visual impairment affecting around 285 million people all over the world.

This could be helpful for those with a condition known as age-related macular degeneration –AMD which is a major cause of blindness as well as visual impairment in older people beyond the age of 50. AMD is a progressive condition wherein the person tends to lose their central vision gradually due to cell damage and death in the retina.

Enhanced Design 

Though glasses known as bioptic telescopes are available to help them with this condition, they tend to be bulky and interfere with social interaction and this latest design seems to be less intrusive. The telescopes are inbuilt in the lenses and were first developed with funding from DARPA as super thin cameras for aerial drone, though they were then converted into vision enhancing system and was first unveiled in 2013.

They were not quite suitable for eyeballs for instance the magnification which was always on, had to be deactivated by taking them out. Besides this, the original lenses were not gas permeable and hence could not be worn for very long. Two years later, the development team led by Eric Tremblay of Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne has now enhanced the design and they are of the belief that the telescopic lenses can be tried for humans which has been only tested on a mechanical model so far.

Updated PrototypeFeatures 

The updated prototype features small air channels which enables oxygen flow through the underside of the lens in order to eliminate eye irritation. The lenses are larger and rigid than the standard lens which covers the sclera or white area of the eyes and within the 1.5 mm thick lenses, a ring of tiny aluminium mirrors which bounces light around and increases the visualized size of the image magnifies it 2.8 times.

According to science, in order to switch between the zoomed and normal vision, the user needs to wink their right eye that interrupts the light from being reflected from the contacts to the glasses.When this signal is block, the polarized filter in the glasses kicks in and guides lights in the telescopic area and to get back to normal vision one needs to wink their left eye.

It is not certain when these future lenses would come in the market though science is making changes in viewing the world.

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