The idea of smart contact lenses isn’t as far away as you might think. The first problem that crops up is how exactly do we power the electronics in a set of “smart” contact lenses. As it turns out, we can use the energy of motion or kinetic energy. Every time the eye blinks, we get some power. Now that we have the power problem solved, there are at least several applications we can think of in order of easiest first:
- Level 1 – Multifocal contact lenses like these from Visioneering Technologies, Inc. (VTI) or curing color blindness like these smart contact lenses called Colormax
- Level 2 – Gathering information from your body – like glucose monitoring for diabetics
- Level 3 – Augmenting your vision with digital overlay
- Level 4 – Complete virtual reality (not sure if this is possible based on the eye symmetry but we can dream a dream)
So when we ask the question “how far away are we from having smart contact lenses” the answer isn’t that simple. The first level we have already achieved.