Robotic contact lens lets you zoom in on objects by blinking at them

Robotic contact lens lets you zoom in on objects by blinking at them

They’re worn by millions of people across the UK, but glasses could soon become a thing of the past, thanks to a new robotic contact lens.

Researchers from the University of California , San Diego, have developed a robotic lens that is controlled by small eye movements.

The contact lens works by mimicking the natural electric signals in the human eyeball.

These signals, called ‘electro-oculographic signals’, allow you to move your eyeball even when your eyes are closed.

Speaking to New Scientist , Dr Shenggiang Cai, who led the study, explained: “Even if your eye cannot see anything, many people can still move their eyeball and generate this electro-oculographic signal.”

The contact lens is made from polymers that expand when an electric current is applied.

This current is provided by five electrodes surrounding the eye, which act like muscles.

When the polymer becomes more convex, the lens zooms in, meaning in the future users could zoom in on object simply by blinking at them.

This could open the door to a range of exciting uses, ranging from prosthetic eyes, to eye-controlled cameras.

Sadly it remains unclear when the contact lenses will be ready to buy, or how much they’re likely to cost.

In their study, published in Advanced Functional Materials , the researchers added: “The system developed in the current study has the potential to be used in visual prostheses, adjustable glasses, and remotely operated robotics in the future.”

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