Researchers Have Created A Zoom Contact Lens That Can See Both Far And Near

Chinese and American scientists have developed a new contact lens that can be controlled by eye movements. When the user blinks twice in a row, the glasses zoom out.

Among them, eye movement signal is the key to achieve this kind of zoom. Eye movement signal is a kind of bioelectrical signal which causes the change of electric potential around the eyes by eye movement. So the scientists measured the electrical signals produced when the eye moved up and down, left and right, blinked or blinked continuously, and created a flexible bionic lens that could respond directly to those signals.


The lens is made of polymer material that expands when an electric current is applied. As the polymer bulges more, the lens zoomed in, meaning users could zoom in by blinking their eyes. As a result, the lens can be zoomed out in the blink of an eye.

The researchers developed the contact lens inspired by the natural structure of the human eye. They found that there was an electric field in the tissues around the eye, and a measurable difference in voltage between the front and back of the eye. The researchers realized that contact lenses could automatically zoom in if they measured the different electrical signals a person emits when they move or blink, and responded accordingly.


They measured the electrical signals emitted when a person’s eyes moved up and down in different directions, blinked or blinked twice in a row. For example, a wearer who blinks twice in a row activates the electrodes, causing the polymer film to stretch like a muscle, thickening the lens of a contact lens and changing the focus of the light passing through it, thus narrowing the lens and enlarging the field of view by 32 per cent. Two consecutive blink again, polymer film contraction, “lens” thinner, focus back to normal.

Researchers believe the new technology could be used to remotely control robots, which could be useful for people who are both nearsighted and presbyopia. But the self-focusing prototype is now bulky and relies on multiple electrodes placed around the human eye, with the other end attached to a specific device. Only when all devices are reduced to lenses will automatic zoom contact lenses become available.