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LCD contact lenses could display text messages in your eye

Categories: Community, Science & Technology

 Belgian researchers have announced what they're calling "the first step toward fully pixelated contact lens displays." (Ghent University)Thanks to technological progress, in just a few years you might be excited to get something in your eye - like a text message.

Belgian scientists have developed a spherical liquid crystal display (LCD) that can be inserted into a contact lens to display letters and symbols.

The scientists at Ghent University say that the new lens "can only display rudimentary patterns, similar to an electronic pocket calculator" for now, but they've imagined plenty of interesting future uses.

The technology isn't available yet for commercial applications, but its developers say we could be reading text messages, emails, and driving directions on our eyes within five years.

"This is not science fiction," said Jelle De Smet, chief researcher on the project at Ghent University's Centre of Microsystems Technology. "This will never replace the cinema screen for films. But for specific applications it may be interesting to show images such as road directions or projecting text messages from our smart phones straight to our eye."

De Smet told the Telegraph that this type of lens display could also be used for medical and cosmetic purposes, such as controlling light transmission towards damaged eyes, essentially making the lenses like sunglasses. Or it could allow a user to change the colour of their iris throughout the day.

In an email to NBC News, De Smet said the researchers still have to make sure the display is safe for human use, and to figure out the best way to power it.

What are your thoughts on LCD contact lens displays? If they were available to you, would you opt to use them for cosmetic, medical, or communication purposes?

Tags: POV

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