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Star Trek Comes to Life: Meet Augmented World Contact Lenses

Geordi La Forge Ocular Implants. Taken from Wikipedia. First appearance in Star Trek: First Contact

In Star Trek: First Contact, Geordi La Forge replaced his VISOR with ocular implants. A company out of Bellevue, Washington is bringing that vision to life. What if computer screen would be – on your eyes?

Sci-Fi TV shows often put outrageous concepts forward, and when actors and producers are asked why did they used this or that, the reaction is "we used movie magic". The "problem" with today is that movie magic needs to be really outrageous, because the real world is catching up.

One such good example is Star Trek: this 1960s show gained cult following and when Star Trek: The Next Generation launched in 1980s, it featured a lot of devices which did not exist in reality, such as laptops, tablets, medical tricoders, smartphones, flat panels, wireless headphones, liquid resistant clothing and many other innovations.

If you fast forward to 2012, you'll see that "movie magic" technology from 1980s is not just reality, but rather makes for pervasive part of our lives. Next technology to come to life considers one character: Geordi La Forge. This "Chief Engineering Officer" was blind by birth, and utilized VISOR (Visual Instrument and Sensory Organ Replacement) to see. This was replaced by ocular implants and lo and behold – such technology is coming to life.

Giving sight to the blind is being done by Second Sight, a private company that recently announced promising trial results for their retinal prosthesis device, while a small company out of Bellevue is bringing augmented reality world to all of our eyes.

Innovega is working on solving the limitation of human eye to lose focus on near placed objects. While makers of 3D glasses, VR glasses etc. are solving that by creating a perception of depth by placing screens further away from the eye, Innovega's technology is reversing the process and putting the screen as close to your eye as possible.

According to the manufacturer "iOptik contact lens allows light from the display to pass through the center of the pupil, and light from surrounding environment to pass through the outer portion of the pupil."

Their technology is currently being developed in a commercial product, and if all things go well, the first iOptik products will come to market over the course of this year. You can see the technology video here.

Now, the question is… if we include laws of physics – what is left from Sci-Fi shows? 

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