the ‘iOptik’ contact lenses by innovega allow for immersive virtual reality

the ‘iOptik‘ contact lenses developed by innovega technology manufacturing lab permits users to focus simultaneously on images that are close up and far away, providing a viable foundation for virtual reality interfacing.

the lenses work via a special set of polarizing filters (which separate high intensity display light from ambient light) and a secondary internal magnifying lens that focuses the light from any nearby input into a single narrow beam, leaving the rest of one’s visual input unaffected. as a result, each set of light rays is transferred independently to the retina, permitting users to simultaneously focus on far-away and close-up visuals, in a full field of view. thus sunglasses, transparent screens, or other display modules placed in front of one’s eyes can showcase augmented reality information at a proven 80 degree field of view (potentially achieving a nearly complete 120 degrees). it offers the first real potential for immersive virtual reality.

because of the split lens focusing, when any secondary display or glasses are removed, the devices function as ordinary contact lenses, either with or without prescription.

bionic virtual reality contact lenses the lens uses polarizing filters to separate high-intensity, nearby display light from ambient light. these photos, taken of the same contact lens, showcase the way the lens treats ambient light (left) and display light (right), a function that ‘iOptik’ when used with VR technology performs simultaneously

bionic virtual reality contact lenses test study: (left) the camera, like a human eye, can normally focus on either far away (shown here) or nearby input but not both (right): the camera outfitted with a flat ‘iOptik’ lens can simultaneously focus on both displays

bionic virtual reality contact lenses composition of ‘iOptik’

bionic virtual reality contact lenses concept sketch of the lenses in use with VR sunglasses

innovega is working with the US DARPA (‘defense advanced research projects agency’) to create a prototype and beta testing for the military, expecting a consumer model available within the next several years for about the same price as normal contact lenses.

more information about the technology behind ‘iOptik’ lenses on innovega’s site

video demo of the lenses’ effect, obtained by outfitting a camera with an ‘iOptik’ lens

via dvice