It now appears that those on-screen heads-up displays from some of my favorite video games are starting to actually become a reality to our soldiers. Washington-based company Innovega is currently developing plans for new military technology that give contact lenses the ability to display information next to almost anything a soldier sees.
As I mentioned before, this augmented reality (AR) future that has been shown in video games is taking its sweet time to come around in the real world (as most great advances in science and technology usually do). In conjunction with technology developed in part with DARPA, Innovega’s technology allows the eye to focus on images projected very close to the eyes, including objects in the real world (since our own eyes are unable to see detailed images placed close to the pupils). According to DARPA, the device allows “a wearer to view virtual and augmented reality images without the need for bulky apparatus” and to be able to focus on both faraway objects and images placed extremely close to the wearer’s eye.
What make this device so amazing and revolutionary is that the technology opens the door to more smaller-scale augmented reality systems and devices that don’t need a bulky, virtual-reality-visor/helmet/headset reminiscent from the 1990s (the Nintendo Virtual Boy comes to mind). Innovega’s technology relies on images on your regular, run-of-the-mill-looking pair of contact lenses, along with a pair of nanotechnology-infused contact lenses that provide detailed megapixel clarity of said images, plus you’ll still be able to focus other objects in the real world at the same time.
I can only imagine what this would lead to in 3-D television and gaming technology. Check out Innovega’s CES pitch below from this past February, as it will provide more details.