If you wear contact lenses, chances are you find them a necessary evil, an uncomfortable "poke in the eye" to start your day. This may all change in the not too distant future as a team of researchers at Washington University are developing computerised contact lenses which will be able to receive and display certain information directly into your eye. Emails, texts, tweets and all other sorts of notifications can be displayed immediately and directly without having to so much as touch your smart phone or laptop.
The team, lead by Babak Parviz, have been testing basic prototypes on rabbits and have so far had success. While Parviz is adamant that this technology is within our reach, you may have to wait until sometime in the 2020s before they become available to consumers.
The technology will incorporate control circuits, communication circuits and mini-antennas in order to achieve the desired result. According to Parviz, the main challenge facing them is the power supply, comprising of a wireless battery.
If these cyber lenses function as anticipated their application is limitless. Already there are talks of using them for directions, mobile notifications, zoom functionality, visual aids, gaming and even a way to watch television. From an ad perspective exciting times lay ahead, Minority Report style personalised holographic promotions may transcend the silver screen and become a reality.
Given that currently the most sophisticated prototype has only managed to sustain a single dot of light projecting about a pixel of digital data, we may be getting ahead of ourselves. Even so, this will clearly provide the advertising and marketing industries a new and innovative way to promote goods and services in the future. Watch this space.