Augmented reality lenses not just for video games!
The U.S. Department of Defense is becoming more enamored with the prospects of augmented reality that, this week, the Pentagon issued an order for an augmented reality system that is used for contact lenses. The system, called iOptik, is developed by Innovega, a manufacturer of wearable interfaces. It is based upon dual focus contact lenses and Innovega claims that the system expands a person’s field of vision significantly. Because it is, essentially, a dual focus lens, wearers will be able to will be able to see digital displays and the real world environment with little difficulty.
Augmented reality is being used more often in the fields of marketing and entertainment, but its uses as a human enhancement technology are gaining more attention. Companies like Google and Vuzix have been developing augmented reality glasses that aim to change the way people look at the world. These glasses come with a plethora of features, including social networking options and the ability to make calls, and aim to make consumer’s connection to the Internet more intuitive. The merits of this concept are not lost to the Department of Defense, who believes the technology could bring the same benefits to soldiers and government workers that it brings to consumers.
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The iOptik system works by transmitting digital images directing into the pupil of the wearer.
The lens is equipped with a light filter that can filter ambient lighting in the environment to prevent interference with these digital displays. The displays become transparent when the wearer focuses on real world objects. Through its contract with the Pentagon, Innovega will be able to evolve the system to include new features and make better use of augmented reality technology.
Innovega believes that consumer augmented reality contact lenses will be available in the future.
These lenses may be quite popular with consumers who are enthralled by emerging technologies. They could also bring benefits to the vision impaired as such lenses could bring improvements to eyesight beyond what conventional contact lenses or glasses are currently capable of. These commercial products are still years from becoming a reality, but Innovega believes that they will be a big part of people’s lives one day.