The Sideshow

Researchers developing “wearable computer” for your eyes

Eric Pfeiffer
The Sideshow

The day may soon be upon us where we trade in our iPad for an EyePad. Researchers at the University of Washington are developing contact lenses that have wireless Internet connectivity.

So far, the UW researchers have been testing the lenses on rabbits, with no adverse effects to the animals; once the devices are fully tested and found safe for human use, the idea will be to use them to transmit personal medical information from a patient to a hospital. But the eye-embedded computer could have countless other practical applications, allowing the lens to serve as tiny smartphones that could transmit phone calls, GPS data and social media.

Currently, most smartphones are already equipped with limited "augmented reality" functions--which one can readily envision as the natural progression for applications associated with future wirelessly enabled lenses.

The development is far closer to reality than you might think. UW researchers say there are already usable versions contact lenses with sensors capable of detecting glucose levels, adjusting light levels and sending radio signals.

You can watch the UW researchers explaining their project in the video above.

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