innovega lens Pentagon orders prototype dual focus contact lenses for enhancing vision

The Pentagon has ordered a prototype contact lens that provides users with a wider field of vision, potentially revolutionising the way we see the world.

The Pentagon has ordered a prototype contact lens that provides users with a wider field of vision, potentially revolutionising the way we see the world.

 
Innovega developed what it is called the iOptik system, a contact lens that is multi-focal, allowing users to focus on two different things simultaneously.
 
The lenses work by employing two different filters, one that shows images from a heads-up display (HUD) directly to the pupil and another that shows images of the surrounding terrain to the rim of the pupil. This results in the retina receiving an in focus image of both things.
 
Generally speaking we only see what we are focusing on in full focus, with our peripheral vision being somewhat blurred. This applies to taking pictures with a camera, where, for example, something in the foreground is in focus, while the background is blurred, or vice-versa.
 
innovega lens Pentagon orders prototype dual focus contact lenses for enhancing vision
 
The military application of this is designed to allow soldiers to see information displayed on the HUD while not detracting from their awareness of their surrounding terrain. This could be extended to the growing field of augmented reality, an area that Google is hoping to expand into, and could address the potential issue of people getting into an accident while paying attention to what is displayed on a HUD rather than their environment.
 
The Pentagon previously provided funding for Innovega's research and development on the project and has now signed a contract to enable the first prototype of the technology, which Innovega said will help it demonstrate how it works in reality.
 
Critics of the breakthrough suggest that it could cause problems, however, including blocking vision and inducing motion sickness, which could make the technology difficult to use. We also do not know the long-term effects of such lenses on a user's vision. That said, 3D glasses have been criticised for similar reasons and have still proven to be a popular technology.
 
Source: BBC