At this year’s American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS) in California which took place on Friday Feb. 13, a team of researchers presented the future of technology: lenses with built-in zoom.
The first version of zoom-in lenses was designed in 2013 but since then the team has added a few “upgrades” like the smart glasses.
The lens is 1.55 millimeter thick and has a telescopic component which is activated when winking with one eye. The lens can magnify an object up to 2.8 times.
So when light comes in contact with the lens, it is reflected by small mirrors thus changing the way the user perceives the objects’ dimension. This way, the whole view gets magnified. The team compared sight through these lenses to the experience of looking through low-level magnification binoculars.
The lenses function only when applied to the smart glasses which activate when the wearer winks. The right eye is used to turn on the zoom and the left one in order to deactivate it thus returning to the normal sight mode.
Presenter Eric Tremblay, from the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland considers these lenses to have an important function in developing treatments for those with low vision or age-related macular degeneration (AMD). He added that “at this point this is still research, but we are hopeful it will eventually become a real option for people with AMD”.
Age-related macular degeneration is a condition that affects the older people’s ability to see. According to the National eye Institute, AMD is the number one cause of vision loss for people over 50.
Aging can lead to macular damage. The macula is a very small region in the posterior part of the eye that is responsible for perceiving fine detail and color. A person suffering from AMD does not go blind but his or her sight is strongly affected. This leads to the person having difficulties when driving, cooking and writing or when trying to recognize faces.
The research was begun due to Pentagon funding but for the initial purpose of creating a kind of bionic vision for soldiers. As it was originally created for the army, the costs of such lenses will need to be lowered so that it can become affordable for as many people as possible.
Image Source: Medical Daily