Posted in Blog Archive

Posted by abeodbart November 26, 2011 at 9:38 am


“Fans of the Terminator franchise may be thrilled but others may be confused over just what a bionic contact lens adds to humanity. According to the developers at Washington University, users could view floating emails and text messages as well as augment their sight with computer-generated images. They say it has been successfully tested on animals (presumably those with email accounts) and when problems such as finding a decent power source are ironed out it could be ready for market.

Is this what the world has been waiting for – or is technology bringing us a load of pointless new kit? What, given a top team of boffins and a whopping budget, would be the innovation of the future you’d like to see?”

Via Guardian (Thanks Annette)

November 26, 2011 at 10:00 am
Joe Smith says:

This is bonkers and badly thought out. It’s designed for (or by) people who are so desperate to get e-mail that they’re prepared to stick a powered thing to their eyes to read it. So, a really really important e-mail arrives. And…then what? How do you reply to it? You’d have to get out your phone/tablet/laptop/whatever, scroll through the e-mail to find the right one and type a response. Or, you’d have to call someone back on your phone which probably has an e-mail app (face it, it’d be the latest smart phone if you’re at this level of nerdy geekery). So, you’d have stuck something in your eye for no good reason at all and spent a lot of money for nothing. How pointless.

I’m more interested in how and why this was “successfully tested on animals”.

November 26, 2011 at 10:07 am
Dave S says:

If this contact lens could be linked to a hypodermal implant that was measuring my blood sugars I’d be a very happy man. As would millions of other diabetics around the world, I’d like to think.

November 26, 2011 at 10:25 am
Chris says:

E-mail no…

1) How much time is left on my parking meter.
2) Look at the bar code on a product and read its current price (and possibly comparison prices from other retailers)
3) Show me the route to the theater.

I don’t think I’d want to replace what my computer does, but it could do things that my computer can’t.

I think I’d wear one.

November 26, 2011 at 10:25 am
Mark says:

My inner nerd would love his own robocop syle heads up display

November 26, 2011 at 10:25 am
steve bryson says:

I can’t think of anything more amazing than Printing Organs with 3D printers insitu –

Also, and a bit too much Big Brother but a system of the reversible sterlisation of populations until individuals/couples prove they are responsible enough to bring up a child. 7 Billion. Way too many and it completely ruins the beaches…

November 26, 2011 at 10:50 am
Will says:

Combine this with the technology from the Word Lens app, and bam: instant translation. Or hook it in to Google maps/sat nav and never lose your way again. Or use Facebook’s facial recognition to avoid those awkward “I’ve forgotten your name” moments at parties!

November 26, 2011 at 11:33 am
Matt says:

Sign me up – everyone will be as smart as the search engine of their choice!

November 26, 2011 at 11:50 am
Pandora Louise says:

I have just one question.. how would you reply? I mean, if you still require a phone then what’s the point? ..or do you just stab at your eyeballs?

November 26, 2011 at 11:59 am
Normster says:

Life is overtaking fiction. Be funny to jack into this and make someone walk into a virtual lamp post. Though the FBI will probably be able to watch through your eyes in twenty years. I’d like to see smart food packaging. Would help dieters (fat people). It would shout an appropriate insult on opening.

November 26, 2011 at 1:46 pm
roz says:

oh, just what i need when i’m driving…

November 26, 2011 at 2:38 pm

I am looking forward to the bionic contact lenses myself but I want them with high resolution screens so that I can read webpages and watch movies with them.

November 26, 2011 at 2:55 pm
Coldman says:

I’d love one. To read the power levels of other people, and then crush my eye when it’s over 9000!

November 26, 2011 at 2:57 pm
rach-lyon says:

I wear contact lenses and I look at my emails, this is just cutting out the middle man!

November 26, 2011 at 3:36 pm
Mark says:

I want one! And how do you if know if your dog has an email addy? Seen something last night that would make you all smile 😉

November 26, 2011 at 5:15 pm
Chewitt says:

I would have mine interact with the bionic contact lens. It would be a little camera and computer set up calculating probable solutions and ways of doing things the camera sees. In other words, I will be able to fathom the Derren Brown tricks I see without having them haunt me for weeks to come! 😀

November 26, 2011 at 5:27 pm
Nick Hall says:

I would definitely get these! not only would i be able to check messages at work, but the chance to have bionic eyes? imagine the possibilities!

November 26, 2011 at 7:16 pm
Nick says:

I’ve been waiting my entire life for such brilliant hardware! You see I have been incredibly fond of Derren Brown ever since he showed his talent for taking people’s valuables without them knowing about it.

As a result I have become a thief in the streets of Brighton. Unfortunately despite people’s general glazed and out of it look, I still can’t get them. But with this invention, I might just have the edge I need. I could even dress up as a semi colon.

On a serious note the only down side to managing your life on a computer is it replaces life and work with e-work and e-life. Like all good things they are just the trappings of an adventure, not the adventure itself :D. Or to quote Placebo, “beauty lies inside the mind, of another youthful dream,… don’t forget to be the way you are”

November 26, 2011 at 8:02 pm
Holly says:

This would amazing but would they work if you had an eye condition such as glaucoma like me? It would still ed amazing even if it didn’t or you l d it help? I don’t know xx

November 27, 2011 at 1:45 am
Mark says:

Well, this is a “no brainer”! I would love to have just what is shown above. I would love to have the ability to be able to view additional information in my bionic eye. I would especially enjoy the add-on that would “float” the IQ of each person I see over their heads. This would save me so much time in my day that I could probably double my productivity. After all, I would know who to spend time talking to and who to avoid like the plague!

November 27, 2011 at 8:27 am

Not to check the emails for sure. Maybe Wikipedia… :)

November 27, 2011 at 11:52 am
Noah says:

I think it’s a good idea but I really don’t see how it would be anymore convenient than a smartphone? I’m guessing you wouldn’t have these contacts in all the time so would you just be putting them in for the purpose if reading an email? If you do have them in all the time it would be convenient but there would be issues with people reading emails in public that may obscure their vision? Still a pretty cool idea though

November 28, 2011 at 10:23 am
Tony says:

Oh, come on, these have been around for ages – hasn’t anyone here seen Torchwood?

And why the obsession with viewing emails in all this discussion? I’d think that would be the least likely use of these devices of all.

November 28, 2011 at 11:31 pm
Jennifer says:

I think what you people really want is a bionic contact lens that lets you see into people’s bags or through women’s clothes.

November 29, 2011 at 3:22 am
wayne says:

@ Dave S

There have been tests carried out about testing your tears to obtain a glucose count rather than pricking yourself (unless you feel that way inclined).

These tear tests can be done more readily throughout a day keeping better control of blood sugars and with much less pain.

I’m sure you can google to find more information.

@ thread

I agree with the majority of comments that e-mails would be the very low down my list of things to do with such an amazing gadget at my disposal.

I think it is about time that we had wi-fi implants in the brain so you can be linked to the net that way. Imagine instinctively knowing anything from the net just like we instinctively remember how to breath.

December 2, 2011 at 2:37 pm
Annette R says:

@wayne re @Dave S
That would be the perfect combination; a contact lens that tests your tears and then tells to eat you if your blood sugar’s too low.

December 6, 2011 at 4:26 pm
alan says:

“problems such as finding a decent power source ”
How about tapping into a tear duct and fitting a water wheel?
New innovations? Underpants with a solar cell inside. With those who have the sun shine out of an orifice in mind.

December 18, 2011 at 3:45 pm
Chris says:

There is already an amusing web video series using this idea:
It comes from the same production team as the utterly brilliant Drawn By Pain.


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