Saturday, January 19, 2008

Not Just Science Fiction Any More

Every kid (well, me, at least) has dreamed at some point of having contact lenses that can display things on them. Think about it- you could have the world at your fingertips through Internet connectivity. You could instantly check email, blog, look up weather or sports or information that you lack. You can call up pictures, videos, et cetera right in front of your eyes. It would bring a whole new dimension to gaming. Now, that future just might be possible. Researchers at the University of Washington have discovered a way to place an electronic circuit on contact lenses, and they tested the lenses on rabbits for up to twenty minutes, with no ill effects appearing. The electrical circuits are created from components that are only a few nanometers in width (a human hair is about 80,000 nanometers) and they're built so that only the correct components fit together, so there's no need to solder or use other toxic substances to get the circuits to stay together (because nobody wants arsenic or lead pressed up against their eyes). The contacts would be powered by radio waves and solar energy (that means if you closed your eyes for too long, your contacts' displays would die), so they won't need to develop really tiny batteries or anything.

Reports say this new technology could be commercially available soon (in the technology world, that means about ten years). Me being a wearer of corrective contacts, this would be totally awesome. I could have my vision corrected and be wirelessly connected to the world at the same time! With pocket tools that you would also carry around, you could turn your lenses into a computer that follows you everywhere. A pocket keyboard or, even cooler, a pen that can recognize letter strokes and transform them into text- this could also double as a mouse; a small hard drive embedded in your watch or your shoe, a wireless Internet card in your wallet; and speakers embedded in your teeth would make your body the ultimate device in the modern world. How cool would that be?

http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/01/self-assembling.html
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,323929,00.html

*EDIT:* Oh, dear. We've finally achieved more than fifteen blog posts, so the very first post to this blog has now disappeared into the land of the blog archive. I guess that's a good thing, because that means I've been posting fairly semi-regularly lately and I hope I'll be able to continue that! Don't forget to check the blog archive from time to time to see if there's anything good in there...

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