French engineers have created smart contact lenses with many features.
Engineers of the advanced French technological university of IMT Atlantique developed the world's first autonomous contact lens with a flexible microbattery. The latter is capable of feeding the built-in electronics for several hours to reproduce and transmit visual information over the wireless network. Interestingly, the Department for Advanced Research Projects of the United States Department of Defense (DARPA), which is very interested in enhancing the visual capabilities of American soldiers in the field, laid eyes on this development.
The invention of French specialists is part of an ambitious project to create a new generation of oculometers associated with the advent of augmented reality technology. Using such lenses, it will be possible to implement man-machine interfaces, analyze cognitive loads and add other functions. According to the developers of IMT Atlantique, the most difficult task in the development of lenses was how to reduce the size needed to power the electronics of the battery. However, scientists have found a way out by creating a flexible and very compact power source.
The development of an autonomous contact lens with a flexible microbattery was carried out by IMT Atlantique specialists in collaboration with the Provence Microelectronics Center. Its creators note that it is possible to integrate a LED display, a radio frequency transmitter for wireless communications, as well as sensors to track the direction of gaze in the device. At the same time, the main function of the contact lens (that is, the improvement of vision) is fully preserved.
A press release on the IMT Atlantique University website states that "the use of flexible graphene-based electronics will further enhance the capabilities of such contact lenses." For example, add the function of additional vision, new communication systems, improve the battery and integrate computing devices, the developers note.
The creators of high-tech smart lenses suggest the possibility of their use for a variety of purposes. For example, they can find their application in medicine, in particular surgery, among drivers, in the entertainment industry. Nevertheless, as reported by the French magazine l’Usine Nouvelle, the American military agency DARPA expressed great interest in the innovative solution of French specialists. In addition, as indicated by the same source, 2 million euros is already ready to invest in the work of French scientists the American tech-giant Microsoft, which is not surprising, given his contract with the US Army to develop special augmented reality headsets based on HoloLens