Story 2015-03-01 42JM Telescopic Contact Lenses Are Here

Telescopic Contact Lenses Are Here

in science on (#42JM)
Researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology have developed a pair of telescopic contact lenses with 2.8x magnification. Really just a pair of super-tiny aluminum telescopes, the contacts are still only about 1.5 millimeters thick, and feature 1 mm-wide channels or pores that allow the required breathability — maintaining airflow. This last part proved to be one of the biggest challenges, requiring years of experimentation.

While the contacts do all the work, they currently require polarized glasses to turn the magnification on or off. That said, the researchers are working towards an on/off capability — activated by winking. "We think these lenses hold a lot of promise for low vision and age-related macular degeneration (AMD)." But will a wider and more general user-base be interested in contact lenses that covertly give them super-human telescopic vision?
Reply 4 comments

Small Objective-Lens (Score: 1)

by on 2015-03-02 14:25 (#447H)

Not an expert in this stuff, but I don't imagine you can get a terribly strong zoom to work well with such a small lens.

There's a reason binoculars have big objective lenses.

Re: Small Objective-Lens (Score: 1)

by on 2015-03-02 19:27 (#44V8)

I imagine that, like with cameras, larger lens size improves performance in low light conditions. But when gathering enough light isn't the limitation, it should work fine.