Multi-focal AR contact lenses work for both near and far

Autore: ExtremeTech

Contact

As we age, reading up close often becomes difficult. An eye doctor may suggest trying a near-vision contact in one eye, and a far-vision power in the other. Having experimented with this, I would suggest that if it is ever presented as an option, you should look at the doctor like he or she just told you to jump off bridge. That is because it’s not too far from the truth — try walking in less-than-ideal conditions and the result could be a fatal misstep. A similar near/far dichotomy presents itself in the field of augmented realty (AR), where the need to simultaneously image a glasses-mounted screen while navigating in the larger environment presents a challenge to both users and designers.

About this time last year, ExtremeTech reported on a contact lens system known as the iOptik, that was being developed as part of a joint effort between the US Department of Defense and a company called Innovega. A working prototype of their system has now been developed, and new competitors have also emerged to give them a run for their money.

The idea behind the iOptik, is that the contact focuses foreground light, like that from a nearby monitor, onto the center of the pupil. The background light is focused on the surrounding (annular) regions of the pupil. This resembles currently prescribed multi-focal contact lenses, which seem to work quite well — only these guys are just a little more extreme in the separation of the two fields.

As shown in the video above, the image is projected directly onto display components that are integral to a pair of special glasses. Superimposing full-field 3D virtual images, which would be particularly enticing for the gaming world, would be seamless with such a device. Interaction with avatars would take place in the whole user space rather than just on a limited screen.

Contact AROther approaches to AR, like that taken recently by The Center of Microsystems Technology actually embed a curved LCD into the contact lens. The potential applications for a system like this which also might also use embedded wireless technology would be astounding, however only crude versions of both are current feasible.

The iOptik is still a year or so away from market, and Google Glass has been also been ramping things up. Just a few days ago they announced the release of their Mirror API, to the great pleasure of the many developers waiting for the chance to create new apps for the product. That may be just in time since a direct competitor to Glass, the Vuzix M100 has made tremendous progress. Running Android 4.0 it can reportedly shoot 720p video, has 4GB of storage, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a 800x480p screen.

An important consideration for all the contact-based products will probably be the user feel of the lens. Nobody wants to be fussing around sliding a semi-rigid lens out of the way to read a menu in a dark restaurant for example. Another possible concern with the contact is that the tiny “lenslets” responsible for creating the short (1.25cm) center focus area, also have a filter layer that excludes all non-polarized light. The annular region, by contrast, excludes linearly polarized light. At night time, the effect of blocking a significant fraction of the incoming light will undoubtedly be noticeable. Devices like the iPad, which emit polarized light from their LCDs, will appear black when held in certain orientations due to the polarization filters. These effects do need to be taken in account when using the lens, but in the larger scheme of things, they appear to be minor concerns on a great new product.

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5 thoughts on “Multi-focal AR contact lenses work for both near and far

  1. DOPO AVER LETTO LE 2 LETTURE RISPONDI ALLE DOMANDE
    ECCO LE LETTURE
    Cambridge – Nuremburg
    Joss Langford 29 snowboard designer

    In germany i feel European. In England i feel English, says Joss . Every two weeks, Joss leaves his farmhouse home near Nuremburg. Both palces are really flat, says Joss.
    It’s a strange choice of landscape for a snowboard desinger.
    I design in England , build in Germany , then drive to Switzerland to test the boards. The distance between my homes in England and Germany is almost 1.000km door-to-door . He knows this because he sometimes drives . It makes a nise change from flying , Joss flew 100 times last year. He doesn’t mind all the air travel , but there are disadvantages. It’s exhausting, and i’ve always got a cold , he says . People think it’s glamorous but i don’t fly first class.

    In each country he has a social life and a local pub . Althought Joss speaks German , people in Nuremberg always want to practise their English . In Cambridge , he lives with his partner , Kate . She travels a lot in job, too. I call her before bedtime. Sometimes our planes cross in the skies.

    In Nuremberg, he rents a room with his collegue . There, i eat more meat and drink more beer. I watch Tv because i don’t have one at home. I know all the German celebs! I’m not lonely. I have a second home , not a hotel room . I have a German life in Germany, and an English life in England.
    2] Manchester – New York
    Claire Turner,33, fallery owner

    Claire holds up her hands to show her nails. Don’t they look awful! she cries. I so miss New York manicures. That’s not all Claire misses about her other life in the USA. For two years she has divided her life between her home town, Manchester , in the northof England, and Brooklyn, New York, She has an art gallery- and spends about a month at time in each.

    I dress differently in New York : pearls, contact lenses, no jeans , and i wear my hair uo. Americans love the English accent, so i feel i should act the part. After work in New York, she may sip a glass of wine or fruit juice in a trendy bar, but after work in Manchester she goes to the local pub for a pint of beer, Her two homes are similar , though. In Brooklyn , i share a rooftop flat with an artist , I can actually see the sky! She can see the same stars from her city-centre loft in ManchesteR.

    Claire loves her transatlantic lifestyle. Her husband travels o lot in his job, too, They mett in Manchester and married in New York . We’re not always in the same country, but our lives are going in the same direction!

    DOMANDE SONO 3
    ECCOLE
    1.WHAT THINGS DO CLAIRE AND JOSS HAVE IN COMMON?
    2.WHO TRAVELS MORE?
    3.WHO ENJOYS THEIR LIFE MORE?

  2. Le lenti migliori lenti a contatto colorate? Che nn fanno vedere il colore vero intorno alla pupilla??
    Esistono quelle rigide colorate per dormircianche di notte ?

    GRAZIE :)

  3. Ciao volevo sapere se anche avendo gli occhi marrone scuro le lenti a contatto si vedono comunque,non ho problemi di vista mi piacerebbero così da mettere qualche volta e cambiare,quale colore mi consigliate voi che si veda?e poi volevo chiedere se tipo queste negli occhi scuri si vedrebbero

    http://cgi.ebay.it/FANTASY-CONTACT-LENSES-WHITE-ZOMBIE-MANSON-1-YEAR-/380245103954?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_186&hash=item58885fd552

    P.S. Non mi venite a dire che le lenti a contatto fanno schifo,son innaturali eccetera…se ho fatto questa domanda significa che mi interessano. :))

  4. Ho gli occhi castano chiaro e sia a me che al mio ragazzo piacciono da morire gli occhi blu/ azzurri. così giusto per cambiare un pò ho acquistato delle lenti a contatto blu giornaliere della “freshlook- one-day color contact lenses”. le ho appena provate ma, togliendo ogni tanto il leggero appannamento della vista e la sensazione di avere qualcosa nell’occhio (cosa comprensibile dato che è la prima volta che indosso delle lenti in tutta la mia vita XD), perchè i miei occhi hanno preso soltanto una chiarissima sfumatura color celeste e l’interno è totalmente nocciola?? ho forse sbagliato a comprare tipologia di lenti? cosa mi consgilate? una marca diversa o un’altra tipologia della gamma offerta dalla freshlook? grazie in anticipo :D

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