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Meet iLens – the smart contact lens

NDA is taking a look at the technology of the future and the new developments we can expect to see.

Although it may seem futuristic, we’re already seeing a race among researchers to develop the first smart contact lens and there is speculation around what key features it may include, from health monitoring and treatment to enhanced vision capabilities.

Lenstore has worked with Richard Watson, a futurologist, author, and scenario thinker, to bring to life what the future of smart contact lenses may look like.

From augmented reality creating new worlds to instantly changing the colour of your eye, there are many possibilities of what the smart contact lens might entail.

Richard Watson, futurologist, author, and scenario thinker says:

“In the far future, small screens may disappear. Instead, we will project information onto smart contacts or use lenses to project holograms of things like working laptops or phones into augmented reality. So, no more laptops, desktops, phones, TVs, or tablets.

“In the future, reality will be a complex and confusing idea. Smart contacts will enable people to access highly immersive virtual experiences in what feels like ‘real-life’. Smart Contacts will also allow individuals to ‘see’ reality in totally different (personalised) ways, bringing into question what reality really is.”

Here are some of the other key features that Richard and the Lenstore team believe we can expect from the iLens:

Social distancing measurements

Stay safe against infection. Keep a 2m distance from other people in only a glance. With coronavirus expected to continue to be a part of our lives throughout 2021, the iLens could help protect lives with Instant Measuring.

Rewatch your memories 

Reminiscent of a Black Mirror episode, some moments aren’t meant to be forgotten, but we can’t always stop to take a picture. The iLens will record your memories in a blink of an eye, so you can watch them again and again. Lenstore adds that this will work via Bluetooth connectivity, so once you’ve stopped recording your memories, they will instantly save to your phone, allowing you to re-watch as often as you want.

Air quality measurement 

The environment has shifted to the forefront of people’s minds as we continue to find ways to reduce our impact. The iLens will include a feature that encourages an environmentally friendly future, as it will monitor and record air quality, providing the user with alerts. There will be an additional feature of measuring elements such as the pollen count – giving users a warning of when to take a hayfever tablet.

Screen time distancing alerts

Given the current climate, working from home has been more common than ever, and many companies are happy for it to remain in the future. But working from home also leaves us more susceptible to fewer breaks from a screen. The iLens will give real-time reminders to let you know when you’ve been staring at a screen for too long and to take a break. It will go as far as blocking out a screen if you continue to look.

Roshni Patel, Professional Services Manager at Lenstore, comments:

“Smart contact lenses, despite currently only a consideration for the future, is such an exciting notion as it will offer increased efficiency to our daily lives – having a great impact on both work and personal related tasks.

Living in a world where many of us spend hours looking at digital devices, our eyes are exposed to becoming strained as a result. However, smart contact lenses will allow people to rely less on these devices and protect their vision as a result.

The scope for this in the medical world, alongside evolving technologies will see less stress on hospital eye services and help reduce the impact of disease. For example, contact lenses that administer glaucoma medication via an app throughout the day will increase compliance, therefore seeing fewer people lose their sight due to this progressive condition.”