Virtual reality

Your connection between real and virtual world

Revolutionary tear-powered contact lenses

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In a groundbreaking development, scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), are on the cusp of revolutionizing the world of augmented reality (AR) with their tear-powered smart contacts. These innovative contact lenses are poised to change the way we interact with the digital world by seamlessly merging it with reality.

The most intriguing aspect of this invention lies in its power source – human tears. The NTU Singapore team has embarked on a journey to create a flexible, ultra-slim battery, about as thin as the human cornea, capable of storing electricity when in contact with a saline source, found abundantly in tears. This breakthrough promises to extend the battery life of these smart contacts by up to four hours within every 12-hour cycle, eliminating the need for external batteries in many situations.

Unlike some smart contact lenses that utilize metal electrodes or induction charging, this tear-based battery employs biocompatible materials, ensuring a comfortable experience for the wearer. Dr. Yun Jeonghun, a research fellow from NTU’s EEE, explains, “The most common battery charging system for smart contact lenses requires metal electrodes in the lens, which are harmful if they are exposed to the naked human eye. Meanwhile, another mode of powering lenses, induction charging, requires a coil to be in the lens to transmit power, much like a wireless charging pad for a smartphone. Our tear-based battery eliminates the two potential concerns that these two methods pose, while also freeing up space for further innovation in the development of smart contact lenses.”

This development opens up exciting possibilities for the future of AR technology. With this tear-powered battery, users can enjoy extended use of AR features without the hassle of carrying around external charging devices. Imagine seamlessly accessing real-time information, navigation, or even immersive gaming experiences without worrying about your smart contacts running out of power.

Moreover, the use of biocompatible materials ensures that wearers won’t experience discomfort or harm due to toxic substances or exposed metal electrodes. These smart contacts are designed for both safety and convenience.

NTU Singapore is wasting no time in bringing this innovation to the market. The team has already filed a patent through NTUitive and has plans to commercialize these tear-powered smart contacts in the near future. This move indicates the team’s confidence in the potential of their invention to transform the way we engage with augmented reality.

As AR technology continues to advance, it’s becoming increasingly integrated into our daily lives. From enhancing work productivity to providing immersive entertainment experiences, AR has a wide range of applications. However, the limitation of battery life has often been a hurdle. These tear-powered smart contacts could mark a significant leap forward in addressing this challenge.

Imagine a professional navigating through a complex project, with crucial information displayed right before their eyes, or a gamer fully immersed in a virtual world without the constant interruption of battery warnings. These scenarios are no longer distant dreams but tangible possibilities with this new tear-powered technology.

Furthermore, the biocompatible nature of these contacts makes them accessible to a broader audience. Users with sensitive eyes or concerns about safety can now embrace AR without hesitation. This inclusivity has the potential to drive widespread adoption of AR technology.