Sure, Google’s idea of placing a display in a pair of glasses is very cool and a game changer, but why wear glasses when you can fit a display into a contact lens? A group of researchers at the Centre of Microsystems Technology at Ghent University recently developed a prototype lens that has a spherical curved LCD embedded inside. Unlike LED-based solutions, the LCD used by these researchers can pack enough display graphics into the tiny lens to display simple patterns like a dollar sign.
Unfortunately though unlike Google Glasses, wearers of the LCD contact lens would not be able to see the things that are displayed on it because human eyes are not able to focus at such close range. The idea of this contact lens is that it could be used for medical or even cosmetic purposes in the future. And you thought contact lens that makes one’s iris appears larger was a cool idea, imagine having a “$” sign right inside your eye, or an iris with a changeable color.
“Normally, flexible displays using liquid crystal cells are not designed to be formed into a new shape, especially not a spherical one. Thus, the main challenge was to create a very thin, spherically curved substrate with active layers that could withstand the extreme molding processes. Moreover, since we had to use very thin polymer films, their influence on the smoothness of the display had to be studied in detail. By using new kinds of conductive polymers and integrating them into a smooth spherical cell, we were able to fabricate a new LCD-based contact lens display.” Jelle De Smet, the main researcher on the project.
Check out the video after the break for a demo.