It sounds like science fiction material, but it's damn serious, and researchers at the University of California at San Diego have made it a reality.
The team created a pair of electronic contact lenses controlled by the movement of the eyes, capable of providing a command to the double blink of the eyelashes and make zoom an image.
It is not one smart lens like the one I talked about in May. In that case it was smart contact lenses, a device developed by the French University IMT Atlantique which for the first time in the world incorporates a flexible battery (capable of powering a small LED). In this case it is instead a biomimetic device already able to function perfectly.
How was it possible?
To remain simple in technical terms, the scientists measured the signals ofelectrooculogram generated when the eye makes specific movements (look up, down, left, right, blink, blink twice). From these signals they were able to derive soft, biomimetic electronic contact lenses that respond directly to these electrical impulses. In short, depending on the signal generated, these lenses are able to modify theirs focal length.
In other words? These lenses can literally zoom in on an image in the blink of an eye.
One of the truly amazing factors related to this invention is in the ability of these lenses to function even when operated by a blind person. It is not a matter of sight, in fact, but of electricity produced by specific movements of the eye, whether it sees or not.
The applications of electronic contact lenses can be many, obviously. From visual prostheses to self-adjusting glasses, or to robotic operations performed remotely (in the future). I would add the inevitable google contact lenses that allow us to search for information, to allow those looking for elements or clues to have a "superview" ready when needed.