Tuesday, 29 Dec, 2009 Science
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Latest Invention: Solar-powered Device that Generates Energy for Electronic Contact Lenses

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Researchers from Stanford managed to discover that the light that enters our eyes and helps us see can be also used to generate power for electronics implanted into eyes and electronic contact lenses. They found that near infrared light can serve as a source of energy and data signal for devices.

Their latest invention is an implant that is 3mm wide and 30 micrometers thick and which can be used to power electronic contact lenses and other eye implants.

According to IEEE Spectrum the implant developed by Stanford researchers is developed as a series of tiny solar cells. It is implanted behind the retina and is a component part of a system that features a video camera, a pocket PC, used to process the images captured by the camera, and a bright near-infrared LCD display incorporated into video spectacles. "The pulsed 900-nanometer-wavelength image that shines into the eyes is enough to produce electricity in the chip," the IEEE wrote.

The technical part of the new invention is rather sophisticated, but the idea is simple - solar-powered eyes for people who have progressive loss of photoreceptor cells on retina. It is worth mentioning that the latest invention will not provide a completely clear vision - people will be able to recognize faces and read large fonts at best. However, such improvement is better than nothing. Currently there is no information on when the device will be available

Posted by bart

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