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Wow, superhuman vision, maybe -

Movie characters from the Terminator to the Bionic Woman use bionic eyes to zoom in on far-off scenes, have useful facts pop into their field of view, or create virtual crosshairs. Off the screen, virtual displays have been proposed for more practical purposes — visual aids to help vision-impaired people, holographic driving control panels and even as a way to surf the Web on the go.

The device to make this happen may be familiar. Engineers at the University of Washington have for the first time used manufacturing techniques at microscopic scales to combine a flexible, biologically safe contact lens with an imprinted electronic circuit and lights.

Contact lenses with circuits – Link.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.



  1. Monkeyhumper says:


    As soon as they figure out how to display alternate realities in our eyes, two industries will boom like never before.

    Gaming and porn.

    Imagine being James Bond in Goldeneye 2042 and not only seeing first hand what killing Jaws looks like, but also being able to fool your brain into thinking Pussy Galore is sitting next to you on the couch.

  2. Timmy says:

    Nice maybe for impaired people but where the hell should the electricity come from? Do you mind wires in your eye? I do!

  3. airship says:

    As far as power goes, you could use inductive power from a coil in glasses frames, a headband, or a cap transmitted to a coil etched into the outer rim of the lens.

  4. hanelyp says:

    I’m wondering how the optics work to focus an image on the retina. The eye certainly can’t focus on an image that close up by itself.

  5. bryan says:

    Re:focus. If they were to embed lasers they could just ‘paint’ the retina. No need for focus.

  6. JoAT says:

    Ah, and they laughed when I said the contacts in the recent “I Spy” remake weren’t too far off!