Magnifying objects 2.8 times, the newly fine tuned 2015 prototype, follows an original release in 2013. The recent improvements boast a 1.55mm-thick contact lens that features a very thin reflective telescope that allows the wearer to effortlessly zoom in and out at the wink of an eye.
The main objective of the telescopic contact lens is to aid people with an age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a medical condition that usually affects older adults and results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field (the macula) because of damage to the retina. It will be with the help of this scientific invention that AMD patients will be able to read more easily and recognize faces and objects better.
Looking closely at the specifics, these are unlike the conventional contact lenses that are soft and pliable, the telescopic lenses are made of rigid “scleral lenses”. Once on, the wearer can activate them with a wink of their right eye, and deactivate them with a quick wink of their left eye. How it works depends on which side is winking, because the “two kinds of polarized light take two different paths through the contact lenses, activating the normal or magnified view.”
Promising comfort and safety, Eric Tremblay, an optical engineer at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland states “We think these lenses hold a lot of promise for low vision and age-related macular degeneration. At this point this is still research, but we are hopeful it will eventually become a real option for people with AM.”
Although not yet ready for longterm wear, these ‘Bond-like’ telescopic contact lenses could potentially help 285 million people worldwide see the world again through scientific tinted lenses.
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