Sunday, November 15, 2009

Future Vision

Sci-fi movies often show humans using electronic devices that project images and virtual graphics right before characters' eyes. Such scenes are no longer the stuff of fantasy, thanks to researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle. New Scientist reports that Babak Parviz has developed a contact lens that "harvests radio waves to power an LED...paving the way for a new kind of display." The article suggests the lens could one day project data transmitted from a mobile device.
New Scientistquotes Parviz, saying his "hope is to create imges that effectively float in front of the [eye] perhaps 50cm to 1m away."
The team is working to use a loop antenna to power the lens via radio waves and has already tested a prototype on rabbits.
Parviz envisions a future where the lens can be used for such purposes as subtitles for conversing with foreign-language speakers, photograph captions, driving directions, and endless other possible uses.