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Smart contact lenses with which we can control machines are ready

Smart contact lenses with which we can control machines are ready

The operation of personalized smart contact lenses as an advanced human-machine interaction tool relies on eye movement tracking. The idea was presented to scientists by the movie Mission: Impossible.

Using pupil-centered corneal reflex and electrooculography (EOG), it has been possible to achieve smart contact lenses that had previously only been seen in science fiction films. The device, developed by Chinese scientists, is scheduled to be used in medical procedures and various augmented reality applications.

These are radiofrequency-based eye-tracking lenses, which don't require a battery or traditional silicon chips to operate, in fact: they're truly biocompatible and practically invisible.

The researchers reported in the journal Nature In the study They confirm that these contact lenses have already appeared in many fictional science fiction works, with the ability to combine the virtual world and the real world in a way that seamlessly integrates the former into the latter. Fay shou Professor, co-author of the TechXplore study They betrayed him: He and his team got the idea directly from the smart contact lenses with facial recognition featured in Mission Impossible 4.

“If small contact lenses can seamlessly connect the virtual world to the real world, it will be the ultimate form of augmented reality technology. Human-computer interaction technology based on eye tracking is one of the most important components. The scientist explained.

A miniature, invisible, biocompatible smart contact lens

The eye-tracking technologies described by the scientists predict highly efficient, natural and easy human-machine interaction, as the device is able to sense users' eye movements and decode their attention and intentions. Although the first experiments were successful, it is acknowledged that they have not reached a final and safe structure, because electrooculography carries health risks (skin electrodes are needed to collect data).

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Based on the current results, the chip- and battery-free lens detects eye movement and eye closing using a frequency coding strategy. Using a time-series eye-tracking algorithm, the lens already performs with extreme angular resolution (<0.5 degrees), but that's just the beginning.

“With the development of optoelectronic technology and the improvement of flexible integration of optoelectronic devices, contact lenses will achieve more and more functions in human-computer interaction and medical health care.” Expect what?

The lenses' high angular resolution enables eye command recognition in a wider range of human-machine interaction applications. It is also able to detect gaze direction and viewing points in real time, which can be useful in controlling the robot. To prove this, in the first demonstrations, web interactions, camera control, zooming and driving a robotic car were performed using only eye commands for 12 hours. More comprehensive biocompatibility tests were conducted to develop the final product, which showed low cytotoxicity and negligible eye irritation, so the contact lenses are expected to enrich eye tracking methods and promote the development of human-machine interaction technology.

Main image: Rawpixel.com – Freepik

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