New contact lenses, funded by DARPA and developed by researchers at Switzerland’s École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) are essentially miniature telescopes for your eyes.
The contact itself is a scleral lens, meaning it is essentially a hard plastic lens, but it comes with thin aluminum mirrors embedded inside of it to act as a tiny telescope. Merely by winking, the zoom of the contact is turned on and off by the user. Apparently, a natural blink will not affect the zoom of the contact, only a wink can, so take that for what it’s worth…
A special electronic system and unique pair of liquid crystal glasses also work with the contact lenses to polarize light at different angles and ensure the system works as smoothly as possible.
After all, smuggling mini telescopes in your eyes is not exactly a tried-and-true technology quite yet.
Researchers are still facing major challenges with their invention such as making the lens more permeable to oxygen. Right now, the lens can only be worn for upward of a half hour or so before it has to be taken out.