Engineering researchers at Israel’s Bar Ilan University are developing a contact lens for the blind. These special lenses translates images into sensations felt on the eye. Headed by Professor Zeev Zalevsky, the project has already seen positive results in it’s initial trials and is planning on continuing forward with testing.
The system is a fairly complex one. First, the image of an object is taken with a smartphone or camera and is then processed and sent to the contact lens. The lens is custom made, fitted with a series of electrodes that use small electric impulses to mechanically relay shapes onto the cornea, almost like braille. After some practice, test subjects were able to identify specific objects.
The contact lens will not be available in the near future, as researchers still need to put the device through full clinical testing and receive funding in order to mass produce it. If successful, these contact lenses could help thousands of blind people all around the world in their daily lives.
This is not the only wearable eye tech to be announced this year– Google recently released news about its prototype contact lens that would be able to read a wearer’s blood sugar.