The Pentagon has just placed an order for a bunch of prototype contact lenses known as the iOptik dual focus contact lenses which are touted to deliver a far wider field of vision for its wearer. Basically, these new contact lenses were designed to work in tandem with a compact heads up display (HUD) unit (sorry, no Project Glass from Google here), allowing images to subsequently be projected onto one’s lenses. Right now, the US Army as well as Air Force do have such HUDs in action, although those are far bulkier in essence, and obviously something that does the same and comes in a smaller package would be more than welcome, especially when the stage it performs on is the battlefield.
It is believed that this technology will eventually assist troops to enhance their awareness on the battlefield. The new dual focus contact lens’ developer, Innovega, already has plans to deliver a fully-functioning prototype to the Pentagon’s research laboratory, Darpa. The lenses will allow its wearer to focus on a couple of things simultaneously, for example, the information projected onto the glasses’ lenses as well as a far more distant view which can be seen through them. This is made possible courtesy of two different filters, where the central segment of the individual lens will be able to send light from the HUD towards the middle of the pupil, and the outer segment will instead send light from the surrounding environment to the pupil’s rim.
When two filters are built into each lens, one is then able to focus on close-up and distant light sources. Move over, Project Glass.