There’s been a lot of talk flying around recently of AR glasses being the new smartphones and an impending “AR war” kicking off among competing augmented reality glasses manufacturers—and while that may well be the case, those glasses are already obsolete in my mind because The Centre of Microsystems Technology (CMST), a laboratory at Ghent University in Belgium, have made a breakthrough in augmented reality contact lens.
That’s right, the brains at CMST have created a spherical, curved LCD display which is capable of being embedded in contact lenses—and with it the promised land of an AR ridden world, without cumbersome glasses, comes ever closer. According to Imec, a nanoelectronics research company associated with the lab, the LCD display lenses are much better than the lame, limited pixels of LED-based lenses. With the LCD tech, the whole contact lens can be used as a display, so you get a much larger surface to play with and more pixels.
In the video above, you can see the contact lens in action displaying a dollar sign (a little joke from the researchers). But before we all get too excited, the wearer can’t actually see the sign (fail), only bystanders can, because our eyes can’t pick up things that are that close—which is a bit of a bummer on the whole AR breakthrough front. However don’t fret, because with more research they hope to tackle this problem and create an LCD display which both the user and bystanders can see, and then we’ll be on our way to a world free of fashion-crime (i.e. glasses).