Prototype of augmented reality contact lens shown

AUTHOR: Inavate

At the CES exhibition in Las Vegas Innovega has been showing its first prototypes of iOptik, an augmented reality system which projects a display onto contact lenses, similar to Google Glass. Even though they system is based on a contact lens, it will still need a pair of glasses to function.

The report, in gizmag.com says the lenses act as a micro-display, and the glasses project a picture onto the contact lens, which works as a filter to separate the real-world from the digital environment and then interlaces them into the one image.

According to Innovega, the technology enables users to focus on objects right in front of their eyes and in the distance simultaneously, offering an alternative solution to traditional near-eye displays which create the illusion of an object in the distance so as not to hinder regular vision.

Embedded in the contact lenses are micro-components that enable the user to focus on
near-eye images.

Light projected by the display (glasses) passes through the centre of the pupil and then works with the eye's regular optics to focus the display on the retina, while light from the real-life environment reaches the retina via an outer filter. This creates two separate images on the retina which are then superimposed to create one integrated image, or augmented reality.

At present, iOptik is not for sale as it still requires clearance from the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the US. This is expected in late 2014 or early 2015.