Contact Lenses Use Drone Technology to Give Wearers 3x Zoom

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There has been a boost in innovative contact lenses lately—researchers have developed lenses that monitor blood glucose levels and Google boasts having made a pair that has a built in camera. Now, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology has revealed a pair that will let you zoom in (up to 3x) just by blinking. Think of them as your own personal pair of binoculars—without all of the bulk.

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To make these lenses work, scientists have combined “smart lenses” that can sense the differences between an intentional wink and an unconscious blink with a telescopic lens so that if you find yourself squinting to see something, clear vision is just a wink away. The way that the contacts are able to magnify up to 3 times in a lens that is only 1.55mm thick is by using aluminum mirrors that reflect light against one another; when the lenses sense a wink, a polarized filter guides light into the mirrors, making the image appear larger to the viewer. The viewer can easily regain normal vision by winking the left eye.

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