Functional Contact Lens – The Future of Augmented Reality?

If you’ve ever dreamed of having augmented vision like Adam Jensen, you may soon have your chance. Microsoft is developing a brand new kind of contact lens that interfaces directly with your optical nerves. It sounds a lot like science fiction, but this new project  may allow just that. Microsoft calls it the “Functional Contact Lens”, and it has the potential to allow its wearer to see a wide array of high resolution graphics, beamed directly to the brain.

The video below provides a brief highlights of what the augmented reality contact lenses currently do, how the technology works, and what their plans are for the future.

Functional Contact Lens Demonstration

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So far, Microsoft has managed to implement a tiny glucose sensor into the lens, meaning that a person with diabetes can continuously monitor their glucose levels without having to draw blood. A glucose monitor doesn’t have the wow factor of overlayed visual aids – such as maps – but Microsoft believes that eventually they’ll be able to do that as well.

Personally, I’m looking forward to xray vision. I have every confidence that Microsoft (or one of their competitors) will manage to integrate that technology into their functional contact lens. If not actual xray vision, perhaps at least the ability to overlay poorly rendered nude skins onto people. It would certainly make work days more interesting, or more likely completely disgusting.




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