University of Washington developing computer-like contact lenses

Next-Gen-Contact-Lens-

The line between technology and human biology has become increasingly blurred over the years. We have come to rely on technology to augment or supplement our bodies own natural functions in many different ways, often to great success. You need not look further than the hearing aid, pacemaker, or laser eye surgery to see examples of technology intimately interfacing with our everyday lives and improving on it. In this digital age, even today’s smartphones perform functions we were resigned to doing on larger computers and devices no more than ten years ago.

With computers and smart devices decreasing in size and increasing in function, it seems that researchers at the University Washington are taking that concept even further. A team from the University has recently completed trials on a new generation of Terminator-like contact lenses that would allow wearers of the next-gen lenses to receive emails directly to their eyes and even supplement their vision with various information from the internet.

While the contact lenses are small, the circuitry within is even smaller. The lenses feature layers of metal measuring barely a few nanometers thick and LED diodes measuring one-third of a millimeter across.

Next-Gen-Contact-Lens-Detail

Of course, there are risk factors inherent with any technology that seeks to integrate so intimately with the human body, and these computerized lenses are no different. Right now, the prototype lenses can only be powered while close (centimeters) to a wireless battery, which brings into question not only practicality concerns, but questions and concerns as to how the human eye and body would react to such long-term exposure of electrical circuits on the surface of the eye.

The team at Washington University has currently finished with animal trials and is attempting to explore the possibility of complex holographic imagery and consumer applications such as price comparisons through the lenses. There is also the hope that the technology can be expanded for uses within the medical field as well as home entertainment. One can only imagine that with streaming video beamed directly into your eyes it would give a whole new meaning to the term “sitting too close to the TV”.

Regardless of whether you approve of biology and technology overlapping, the reality would suggest that further integration between man and machine will not subside any time soon.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (March 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in March, from Buster Scruggs to Roma

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Emerging Tech

Eat up! This robot is built to feed dinner to people who can’t feed themselves

Engineers have developed a robot that can feed people dinner. Powered by an artificial intelligence algorithm, the system detects pieces of food on a plate, stabs them with a fork, and transports the morsels to a person’s mouth.
Emerging Tech

Mind-bending model shows Venus isn’t our nearest neighbor — it’s Mercury

Every textbook and table on the internet agrees -- the closest planet to Earth is Venus. But a new mathematical model shows that this is wrong. In fact, the planet closest to us on average is Mercury.
Emerging Tech

Desk lamps take on a new task by converting their light to power

What if we could charge devices using light from indoor sources like desk lamps? A group of scientists working on a technology called organic photovoltaics (OPVs) aim to do just that.
Emerging Tech

A.I.-generated text is supercharging fake news. This is how we fight back

A new A.I. tool is reportedly able to spot passages of text written by algorithm. Here's why similar systems might prove essential in a world of fake news created by smart machines.
Emerging Tech

Body surrogate robot helps people with motor impairments care for themselves

A team from Georgia Tech has come up with an assistant robot to help people who have severe motor impairments to perform tasks like shaving, brushing their hair, or drinking water.
Emerging Tech

New Hubble image displays dazzling Messier 28 globular cluster

Messier 28 is a group of stars in the constellation of Sagittarius, located 18,000 light-years from our planet. Thousands of stars are packed tightly together in this sparkling image.
Emerging Tech

Cosmic dust bunnies: Scientists find unexpected ring around Mercury

A pair of scientists searching for a dust-free region near the Sun have made an unexpected discovery: a vast cosmic dust ring millions of miles wide around the tiny planet Mercury.
Emerging Tech

Take a dip in the Lagoon Nebula in first image from SPECULOOS instrument

The European Southern Observatory has released the first image collected by their new SPECULOOS instrument, and it's a stunning portrait of the Lagoon Nebula, a swirling cloud of dust and gas where new stars are born.
Emerging Tech

Robot assistants from Toyota and Panasonic gear up for the Tokyo Olympics

Japan plans to use the 2020 Olympics to showcase a range of its advanced technologies. Toyota and Panasonic are already getting in on the act, recently unveiling several robotic designs that they intend to deploy at the event.
Emerging Tech

Racing to catch a flight? Robot valet at French airport will park your car

Hate searching for parking at the airport when you need to catch a plane? Startup Stanley Robotics recently unveiled a new outdoor automated robotic valet system. Here's how it works.
Business

Bags with brains: Smart luggage and gadgets are making travel smoother

The bag you use to tote your stuff can affect the experience of any trip. In response, suitcases are wising up, and there are now options for smart luggage with scales, tracking, and more. Here are our favorite pieces.