A Speck in the Eye

Imagine always having your computer with you. No I don’t mean the latest smart phone that is in your pocket. Really with you … as in your eye.

Or more precisely as a lens on your eyeball. Last year there was a first test with a lens that had just one pixel. This year, Belgian researches from the University of Ghent and IMEC in Leuven have announced a crude display that, in theory, could be worn as a lens. Here is a nice video of it (after the jump):

Now of course this is not high-definition with a gazillion colors. Also, there seems still to be a need for a “big” (relatively speaking) connector that seems really unpractical to wear. For now at least, because I speculate that this will evolve very rapidly, like the advances in hearing aids.

IMEC UGENT liquid crystal display

I have not found any information if this lens was tested on animals (including humans). The lens from last year mentioned above was tested for a couple of minutes on rabbits, and did not seem to hinder them for that short period. This lens, which seems sturdier, might become irritating very quickly, but again, that will probably be solved sooner than we might expect.

There is one small thing however that worries me. As Cory Doctorow in a couple of his short science fiction stories eloquently describes, we risk getting flooded with spam and advertisements, right in our eyes. Some people complain about the publicity on their Kindle Fire lock screens, but this would be way more intrusive… So perhaps it’s a nice technological evolution, but one that can become really annoying, too.

About Bruno Van de Casteele

Philosopher by education, IT'er by trade. Allround Armchair Skeptic, History Enthousiast, Father of Three. Twitter @brunovdc Personal website: www.puam.be
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2 Responses to A Speck in the Eye

  1. Craig Good says:

    The image area is way bigger than the iris on the eye, and I don’t see how they’re going to manage letting the eye focus on the image. Seems to me this is a very, very long way from anything practical. Not that those problems may not be solved some day.

    • Bruno Van de Casteele says:

      Yeah I noticed that too. I guess they were going for maximum “outside” effect … maybe they want to go the cosmetic route, and offer changing colour lenses? There might be some money in that …

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