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Researchers have created a soft contact lens that changes its focal length from eye movements

By Wong Chung Wee - on 31 Jul 2019, 11:30am

Researchers have created a soft contact lens that changes its focal length from eye movements

Image source: Wiley via Advanced Functional Materials

Imagine a contact soft lens that responds to wearer’s blinks and eyeball movements? Researchers from universities in the United States and China have created one that changes its focal lengths based on the wearer’s natural eye movements.

Image source: Wiley via Advanced Functional Materials

The lens makes use of “electrooculographic signals”, which are generated by eye movements. The “dielectric elastomer films” that make up the lens, enable it to shape itself to mimic the “working mechanisms of the eyes of human and most mammals.”

Image source: Wiley via Advanced Functional Materials

The main application of this property by the researchers is to change the focal length of the lens from the wearer’s eye blink. The wearer is able to toggle between near and far visions by double blinking, and the lens will change its focal length accordingly. The researchers claim the focal length of their experimental lens can change up to over 32%, which is comparable to a human eyeball.

Image source: Wiley via Advanced Functional Materials

The researchers said that the lens has the potential to be implemented in visual prostheses, adjustable corrective spectacles, and even remote operated robots in the future. Their joint research paper is published on Advanced Functional Materials journal and a preview of it can be read at Wiley’s. The folks behind this groundbreaking contact lens hail from the University of California, San Diego, United States and the Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China.

Source: Wiley via Advanced Functional Materials

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