Thursday, September 24, 2009

Scientists develop contact lenses that mix real and virtual

Can you imagine if the real world blends with the virtual? Everything you see in fiction films can be reality soon.

Ever heard of augmented reality? It is a technology that integrates the real world with the virtual, making digital data appear in the physical world. It would be like using glasses that provide us information about what we see. When looking at the board of a street, the device show data such as maps and tips for eating out in the region. If this sounds interesting in the lens of the glasses, just imagine if the research at the University of Washington go right. They are trying to deploy the technology in contact lenses.

According to a report in Wired magazine, students, scientists and university professors are developing a contact lens with very small electronic circuits and the ability to capture radio frequencies. The team led by professor Babak Parvis bionanotechnology has worked in the lens since 2004.

The intention is that in the future, it can provide information on what you see, such as comments, food composition and photos. By seeing the face of an acquaintance, the lens could show which were the last posts it on Orkut and Twitter, for example.

The researchers also found an application for a medical "magic lens". It would be used to monitor the person's vital signs: temperature, glucose, sodium and potassium in the blood. According to researchers, much of the information that is achieved with blood tests can be read through the surface of the eye.

A major concern is the harm that the lens can cause the eyeball. It is tested in rabbits, but it should take to be applied in humans. Scholars say they need more tests and find out more about the functioning of vision.

While we expect the order and approval of research, we can only dream of the technology. Imagining the day when we can play video games in the backyard, fighting imaginary enemies, but real to our eyes.