A group of researchers have built contact lenses that can zoom in on something to 2.8x magnification.
The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) funded the project, which relies on a set of 3D glasses from a Samsung TV to activate the lens’ zooming effect. Polarising filters in the spectacles allow wearers to switch between normal and telescopic vision.
The researchers intend to modify the lens so that it won’t need to rely of the glasses to operate.
The prototype contact lens is 8mm in diameter, 1mm thick at its centre and 1.17mm thick in its magnifying ring.
The team designed the lenses for people with age-related macular degeneration, which is the number-one cause of vision loss in Americans older than 60. Sufferers can lose the ability to recognise faces and perform tasks, such as driving and reading.
The engineers are planning to start a clinical trial in November.