Mobile augmented reality contact lenses may do more that improve your sight. Someday they could replace your mobile phone and let you communicate visually anywhere in the world, improve your health and make virtual reality real. Perhaps your ophthalmologist could perform Lasik surgery, burning a wireless circuit into your cornea?
Mobile Augmented Reality Hits Contact Lens Technology
Babak Parviz at the University of Washington in Seattle is working on a contact lens technology that could revolutionize wireless health monitoring and mobile applications for your iPhone. But don’t stop there…
Babak Parviz’ lenses become biosensors that monitor internal body functions. While the prototype version of the lens is powered by radio waves beaming electricity to a loop antenna embedded in the contact lens, Parviz thinks a mobile phone or solar cells (wireless electricity) could generate power for the lenses. Mobile augmented reality could be just around the corner.
Here’s a video explaining the technology:
Parviz believes his contact lens development platform could emulate the iPhone’s on a smaller scale. Each lens at present only uses one LED. But he thinks with multiple LED’s embedded in the lens, application developers could write wireless monitoring “apps,” like the iPhone model, expanding the lens’ wireless health monitoring capabilities. Doctors, for example, could monitor their patient’s vital signs or blood sugar levels or blood pressuree remotely.
HUD’s (Heads-Up Displays) and Augmented Reality
Parviz’ vision may come from science fiction writer and mathematician Vernor Vinge, who imagines computers in clothing and locational sensors placed elsewhere–a world of text and virtual objects overlaying our view of reality. Perhaps a pair of virtual reality goggles for Christmas? Or an augmented reality app for your next birthday present?
HUD’s or heads-up displays, used by fighter and space shuttle pilots, provide a glimpse into a world where our vision is augmented by sensory feedback.
Here’s an augmented reality video of an F16 pilot’s view of reality in an actual jet flight. (He gets quite a work-out as you can tell from his heavy breathing. Tough job flying jets these days.)
Mobile Augmented Reality Contact Lenses of the Future
Imagine in the not-too-distant future…
You’re wearing your iCon wireless lenses which are connected to your mobile carrier. Using augmented reality software embedded in the lenses, you make a video call to your friend in Australia by visualizing her in your brain. Your iCon and carrier initiate the call and connect you to your friend who’s also wearing an iCon. Both of you see and hear each other as if you were sitting next to each other in 3D virtual reality.
Driving in your car, wearing your GPS-enabled iCon lenses, you connect to a Google server and a GPS satellite. You request mapping and directional information by a voice which immediately appears on your iCon lenses. While driving, you see an overlay of roads, streets, and arrows. A pleasant voice guides you safely and quickly to your destination. That’s mobile security.
You need cash. As you stand in front of your bank’s ATM machine, an optical device scans your iCon lenses, containing personal financial information stored on a memory chip. After verifying your identity, you communicate by voice with your ATM. “Need $40 cash, pronto.” An ATM voice thanks you and spits out the cash. Mobile commerce at its best.
Before leaving your doctor’s office, after having a physical, your physician puts two iCon lenses in your eyes to monitor your blood pressure and heart rate wirelessly. You saunter out of the office feeling in control, augmented in an interactive wireless world.
Your teacher or instructor gives you a pair of wireless contacts containing your next lesson–“The sex life of the Fruit Fly.” As you sleep, the lesson downloads into your brain’s cortex. The ultimate mobile learning app.
Forget the contacts. How about your eye doctor using LASIK surgery to burn augmented reality into your cornea?
Want more? Welcome to the mind of Nash’s World, who suggests other ways wireless contacts and other technologies could make your reality even more augmented.
First, a YouTube video showing a kid buying Lego toys with the help of a mirror in a store:
- Bookstores will have the top 5 reviews hover above any book you take off the shelf (Forget the New York Times Book Review)
- Showing relationship status above our heads so we can date new people (The ultimate in mobile dating)
- A system will analyze body language of another so the socially awkward will receive cues on how to better communicate with the opposite sex (Poor eyesight? Put on those virtual reality goggles again)
- See how many calories something has before you eat it (Throw away your smartphone’s food calorie app)
- Be aware of the average crime rate of the area you are in by the color of the road (This one is sorta mixed reality)
- …Watch tv from anywhere with images filling up [your] whole field of vision