comfortable telescopic contact lens prototype magnifies 2.8 times
images courtesy of EPFL




developing upon the first iteration shown in 2013, optics specialist eric tremblay from école polythechnique fédérale de lausanne (EPFL), reveals the latest prototype of the ‘telescopic contact lens’ at the AAAS annual meeting in san jose, california. the project which is in response to the estimated 285 million people who are visually impaired, aims to give hope for better, stronger vision. the 2.8 times zooming eyewear has had its membranes fine-tuned, making it more effective and comfortable for longer periods of use.

it is made from several precision cut and assembled pieces of plastics, aluminum mirrors, and polarizing thin films




funded by DARPA, the ‘telescopic contact lens’ are made using rigid scleral lens which are larger in diameter than typical ones, and feature small mirrors that bounce light around in order to expand the size of objects. to fulfill the eyes’ need for steady supplies of oxygen, they incorporate 0.1mm wide air channels to make the lenses more breathable.


‘it’s  very  important  and  hard to  strike  a  balance  between  function  and  the  social  costs  of  wearing  any  kind  of  bulky  visual  device.  there  is  a  strong  need for  something  more  integrated, and  a  contact  lens  is  an  attractive  direction.  at  this  point  this  is  still  research,  but  we  are hopeful  it  will  eventually  become  a  real  option  for  people  with  AMD.’ said eric tremblay.