An incredible creation of optics engineers – telescopic contact lenses – were presented at the AAAS' conference in San Jose. The lenses developed by the scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology use the design developed at DARPA for drones, Motherboard reports.
"The technology involves a bit more than just the contacts. The system is based on the interaction between a pair of normal-looking eyeglasses and the weird lenses above, which are embedded with what are really just a pair of supertiny 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," the article writes.
"We think these lenses hold a lot of promise for low vision and age-related macular degeneration (AMD)," said Eric Tremblay, the EPFL researcher behind the project. "It's very important and hard to strike a balance between function and the social costs of wearing any kind of bulky visual device. There is a strong need for something more integrated, and a contact lens is an attractive direction. At this point this is still research, but we are hopeful it will eventually become a real option for people with AMD."
Right now there's still time to debate the use of the technology, as researchers have a number of kinks to work out before the contact lenses can be made available to consumers or patients.