The human eye is a perceptual powerhouse. It can see millions of colors, adjust easily to shifting light conditions, and transmit information to the brain at a rate exceeding that of a high-speed Internet connection.But why stop there?In the Terminator movies, Arnold Schwarzeneggerâ€™s character sees the world with data superimposed on his visual fieldâ€”virtual captions that enhance the cyborgâ€™s scan of a scene. In stories by the science fiction author Vernor Vinge, characters rely on electronic contact lenses, rather than smartphones or brain implants, for seamless access to information that appears right before their eyes.
These visions if I may might seem far-fetched, but a contact lens with simple built-in electronics is already within reach; in fact, my students and I are already producing such devices in small numbers in my laboratory at the University of Washington, in Seattle [see sidebar, “A Twinkle in the Eye”]. These lenses donâ€™t give us the vision of an eagle or the benefit of running subtitles on our surroundings yet. But we have built a lens with one LED, which weâ€™ve powered wirelessly with RF. What weâ€™ve done so far barely hints at what will soon be possible with this technology.
I’ve read that Vernor Vinge book, it was Rainbow’s End and was an absolute masterpiece about a guy that slips into the final stages of Alzheimers right as a cure was devloped right after he started to have permanent memory loss.Â It was a tale of his reintegration into a society that he didn’t remember with technology was far beyond his ken.Â A good read if you every find a copy, and I’m excited to see some of the ideas from that book used in real life applications.Â Imagine a world in which you don’t have to guess you BAC, you can see it on your HUD.