Augmented Reality Part 2: Contact Lenses

As if augmented reality glasses weren't enough of a mind bender Innovega Inc (no I'd never heard of them either) have announced a special contact lens which allows augmented reality displays to be focussed from one inch!

There's a great video demonstration of that after the break (albeit with a camera so not a really fair comparrison to the human eye...that didn't stop the Pentagon though!)...

Now, this technology has been around for a while (that video was from 2010!) but limited to military applications. Companies such as Innovega Inc are now exploring the main optometric marketplace for future growth.

It uses a dual focal rigid lens (dubbed iOptik technology) to create a central and peripheral refractive zone, through the use of filters in each zone. This is better explained through pictures:

It's a really neat solution and one that I can actually see working better than the spectacles version (although that might change as I work my way through all the info I've been sent on the google glasses!) Fitting of the lens may be a nightmare though especially if that filtered section blocks flourescein transmission. One obvious application would be for post-cataract patients or low vision patients where the required near image could be projected at the desired retinal image size, at the exact desired location.

However, as with all of this technology there must be potential detrimental optometric implications. The most obvious question is does the dual imaging not cause significant retinal rivalry and therefore aesthenopia and potentially blurred vision?

What are you're thoughts on the lens? 

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