Contact lenses when connected to the Internet could help read emails and text messages, claim scientists.
The futuristic technology has taken a step nearer with the development of a prototype lens that could potentially provide the wearer with hands-free information updates. esearchers at the University of Washington and Aalto University, Finland constructed a computerized contact lens and demonstrated its safety by testing it on live eyes, with no signs of adverse side effects.
At the moment, the contact lens device contains only a single pixel, but the researchers see this as a "proof-of-concept" for producing lenses with multiple pixels which, in their hundreds, could be used to display short emails and text messages right before your eyes.
Till now such technology has only been seen in science fiction like 'The Terminator' films and in 'Dr Who' spin-off 'Torchwood'.
The researchers said that the device could overlay computer-generated visual information on to the real world and be of use in gaming devices and navigation systems.
It could also be linked to the user's body to provide up-to-date information on glucose or lactate levels, which could prove medically important, the Telegraph reported.
The contact lens created by the university researchers consists of an antenna to harvest power sent out by an external source, as well as an integrated circuit to store this energy and transfer it to a transparent sapphire chip containing a single blue LED.
One major problem the researchers had to overcome was the fact that the human eye, with its minimum focal distance of several centimetres, cannot resolve objects on a contact lens, and any information projected onto the lens would probably appear blurry.
To combat this, the researchers incorporated a set of Fresnel lenses into the device, which were much thinner and flatter than conventional bulky lenses, and were used to focus the projected image onto the retina.
The results of the study were published in the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering.