Telescopic contact lenses to be trialled
Researchers from San Diego and Switzerland published their switchable telescopic contact lens work in issue 13 (volume 21) of the Optics Express journal in July.
The telescopic contact lens works in a similar way to the telescopic implant, magnifying vision to improve eyesight, although it does not need to be surgically placed within the eye and can be switched on and off at leisure.
Measuring just over a millimetre thick, the telescopic lens can adjust vision by 2.8x magnification. This is achieved through a series of mirrors placed around a magnifying ring around the outside of the lens, which bounces the image around before delivering a magnified image to the retina.
The lenses, however, will not work alone. In order to function as magnifying lenses they must be paired with a set of electronic polarising glasses, modified from a set of 3D TV eyewear. This pairing allows wearers of the lenses to switch the magnification effect on and off by switching the glasses on and off (or simply removing them altogether).
Currently the telescopic contact lens remains in the prototype stage, meaning it isn’t available to people quite yet. However, the prototype is being prepared to enter trials this November once a few refinements, such as enhanced image quality and gas permeability, have been made.