Have you ever wished that your contact lenses were able to do more then simply correct your vision? That you could put them on one day, and not only be able to see clearer, but see farther too? Well, thanks to a team of researchers out the University of California San Diego, your dream may have just come true.
In a technological first, the international team of researchers was able to create the world’s first ever telescopic contact lens. The lenses, which generally operate like normal contacts, are able to magnify the wearer’s vision by almost 3 times with the simple addition of some 3D glasses. However, the real breakthrough in this technology comes with the actual size of the device. While in the past, individuals have attempted to build similar products, other variations of the telescopic contact lens have been noticeably impractical.
For example, the closest anyone else has come to technology like this was with a magnifying contact lens that was 4.4 millimeters thick and incapable of sitting in your eye. Comparably, the prototype designed at UCSD is only 1.17 millimeters thick, nearly a quarter of the thickness, and more importantly, wearable. In addition, the researchers hope that the new lens will be able to help millions afflicted with age-related macular degeneration, a common vision problem that results in blurred, and diminshed eyesight.
Nevertheless, before you go running to your eye doctor looking for some telescopic contacts, there are a few hang-ups. According to the researchers, the current lenses are made out of a gas-impermeable polymer, which is unsuitable for use in the modern market. Instead, the researchers will have to switch over to a rigid gas-permeable polymer, which is the substance used to create modern day contacts. After that, you’re likely to see these contacts hit the open market, with both healthy, and visually impaired individuals wearing them.