News of a contact lens that would offer troops on the ground a birds-eye view of the battlefield came out in January when DARPA announced a plan to acquire them for U.S. forces.Working with Washington company Innovega, it looks like DARPA found what they wanted, and the Pentagon placed an order for lenses that will offer troops 3D information projected onto their eye, that work in conjunction with a pair of lightweight glasses.
The glasses have a translucent screen and will offer the equivalent of viewing a 240-inch television from 10 feet away.LJ Rich at the BBC reports the Department of defence funded part of Innovega’s research and placed an order for the lenses late this week.
The company’s CEO Steve Wiley says the new contract will allow them to start producing prototypes and begin immediate testing.
The lenses function by allowing wearers to focus on both the data projected on the glasses’ lenses and whatever is being viewed in the distance.
They do this by having two different filters. The central part of each lens sends light from the HUD towards the middle of the pupil, while the outer part sends light from the surrounding environment to the pupil’s rim. The retina receives each image in focus, at the same time.
Wiley says, “Normally, for example, with a camera you focus on something distant or something close – but you focus on a particular spot. By wearing our contact lens you automatically have this multi-focus, or dual-focus, and you are doing something that humans don’t usually do.”
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