a telescope for your eye: optical zoom contact lenses
all images courtesy optics info base
a group of DARPA-funded researchers have created a slim, telescopic contact lens that can switch between normal and magnified vision. when used in conjunction with liquid crystal glasses ( originally used for viewing 3D TV’s), the system has the capabilities to offer AMD patients a tenuous solution to enhance their vision. the team, led by university of california professor joseph ford, has implemented tightly fitting mirror surfaces into a contact lens measuring just over a millimeter thick, which as a result, provides users with telescopic optical zoom. the lens has a dual modality: the center of the lens provides unmagnified vision, while the ring-shaped telescope located at the periphery of the regular contact lens magnifies the view 2.8 times.
images captured through the contact lens and opto-mechanical eye
made out of a polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) material, users can switch back and forth between the magnified view and normal vision, when paired together with liquid crystal glasses. the eyewear application selectively blocks either the magnifying portion of the contact lens or its unmagnified center. the liquid crystals in the glasses electrically change the orientation of polarized light, allowing light with one orientation or the other to pass through the glasses to the contact lens.
(a) usaf resolution chart @ 1x.
(b) usaf resolution chart @ 2.8x.
(c) outdoor image taken with optomechanical eye.
(d) outdoor image taken with contact lens and both apertures (1x + 2.8x).
(e) outdoor image taken with contact lens @ 2.8x.
(a) contact lens front view.
(b) contact lens back view.
(c) contact lens on opto-mechanical eye.
(d) central aperture (1x) blocked with liquid crystal glasses.
(e) central aperture (1x) open with liquid crystal glasses
initial layout of an all-refractive telescopic contact lens, using two rigid gas permeable polymer materials to correct chromatic aberration without diffraction optics.
optical layout of the magnifying contact lens
(a) unmagnified (1x) optical path through the central clear aperture of the contact lens.
(b) magnified (2.8x) multiple-reflection path through the contact lens.
(c) expanded view.