Another science fiction story becoming reality is the bionic contact lens. Created by an international team of experts and researchers, this telescopic contact lens, once put on your eye, will give you the power to zoom your eye up to three times as much.
This telescopic lens has a center that allows for normal vision, letting in the light normally. However, the outside edge of the contact lens is in actuality a telescope with a 2.8x magnification (akin to a 100mm lens on your standard digital camera).
The zoom in effect
Now this isn't exactly superman vision just yet, since your regular binoculars will give you a 15x optical zoom, more than 5 times the power of this lens. That said, you don't exactly carry those around in your eye. So any magnification is quite incredible. And the way things are lately, I wouldn't be surprised if a 100x lens would come out in a few years' time.
This amazing feat of technology, a 17mm thick telescope (feels weird even writing something like that), magnifies light by bouncing it around 4 times inside the lens with the aid of special miniaturized mirrors made of aluminum. After the bounce, the light is beamed to the edge of the retina and into your eye.
Diagram of the bionic lens bouncing light
And so a few benefits are quite clear.
First, always, is the medical aspect. People suffering from macular degeneration, either from age or disease or genetic tendencies, will be able to see more details in their surroundings.
Equipping pilots and soldiers also comes to mind. Pilots need the best vision possible to handle aircrafts, better vision may become a standard issue for fighter and commercial pilots. Soldiers will be better able to aim - a huge edge in combat, despite the mounted lenses on many rifles - and recognize threats from afar, reducing their risk in the field.
This is only scratching the surface of course, and as we begin to see more and more of these 'upgrades' to our human bodies. This is both an exhilarating and alarming thought, but one we have been well prepared to anticipate by recent advances.
Submitted by: Jeff T.
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