Could Future Contact Lenses Contain a Telescope?

According to research presented at a recent conference of scientists, the future of contact lenses could be ready to zoom. Zoom in that is: the future of contact lenses may just include contacts with a built-in telescope that can be zoomed in on a set object in order to see it better.


Right now, inventors believe that their product is the perfect solution for those who suffer from age-related macular degeneration. The disease (often referred to as AMD) causes its victims to lose their sight, especially in the center of their visual field, which makes it difficult to see and recognize just about everything.

These contact lenses, which are in the developmental stage, would allow the wearer to operate the zoom lens through winking. Wearers of the lens would wink to start the zoom feature and then wink with the other eye to turn it off again. The lenses would need to be worn in conjunction with glasses in order to be able to work properly. But, it was impressive to read that they somehow designed the lenses to respond to winks and ignore the thousands of times you blink during the course of a normal day.

The contact’s thin telescope would do the job of magnifying objects for the wearer. So, if someone with AMD came up to you and had a difficult time recognizing who you were by sight, they could blink and use their contact lens like a camera’s lens, making you appear larger and larger in their field of vision until they can see you better.

Apparently this telescope technology isn’t a new concept. You can already purchase glasses with mounted telescopes in them, although they are awkward to wear. You can also have surgery to have a small telescope inserted into your eye, but again, this isn’t an inexpensive or convenient option like the contact lenses would be.

It will be interesting to see how this research progresses. Right now, developers of the lens are British and creating it for testing on people with AMD in the United Kingdom. But, if the technology is found to be both effective and safe, you can safely bet it will be available in the U.S. quickly after it’s overseas launch.

If you suffer with AMD and are curious about vision correction solutions that could help you, talk to your closest America’s Best optometrist.

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