Forget Google Glass, 3D-Printed Contacts With Video Display Are Coming

November 20, 2014 | Rhett Jones

People are worried that Google Glass may be dead, but the idea of wearing a screen that beams images into your eye will live on in some way. Michael McAlpine has been working with a team at Princeton University to 3D-print contact lenses that are capable of displaying video, and together, they’ve developed a 5-layered prototype that actually works. According to New Scientist:

The lens is a transparent polymer with several components embedded inside: nanoscale quantum dot light-emitting diodes, wiring made from silver nanoparticles, and organic polymers that could act as parts of electrical circuits.

As with so many innovations, this one is funded by the military. Specifically, the Air Force, which wants pilots to one day use to monitor their controls. The Air Force also hopes that eventually the contacts will double as a device that can monitor a pilot’s levels of exhaustion.

For now, the prototype needs a lot of work. The voltage required to power the contact lenses is still too high for them to have a commercial viability. And, perhaps most importantly, “the materials that make quantum dots, such as cadmium selenide, have known health risks.”

(Photo: Wikipedia)