The future of augmented reality isn't on a smartphone screen or on a pair of cumbersome glasses. The future is a contact lens.
Innovega is developing a contact lens called the iOptik lens that will provide the crucial step necessary to perceive an augmented, superimposed 3-D virtual reality.
It can also enhance your vision as you're seeing normal reality. Using nanotechnology, the contact lenses allow users to perceive both reality and information provided by the Internet or another source.
With these contact lenses, the user can view the world naturally: Their eyes can move normally and there aren't any cumbersome goggles to hinder movement or perception.
For external hardware, users are also given a pair of glasses which are used to project the extra data.
But the contact lenses are crucial here. Without them, data beamed onto the glasses is fuzzy and messy. The contact lens collates and refines the augmented info.
The lenses enable a complete field of view while staying light. This innovation separates them from their competitors, many of whose products require goggles to refine the projected images, according to Innovega representatives.
Another huge advantage Innovega has is their plan to contend with the regulatory apparatus, which can often bog down an emerging technology. The person heading up Innovega's Clinical and Regulatory function is a "contact lens and FDA expert" according to CEO Stephen Willey.
The military is already exploring the use of these lenses, which could enable the distribution of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle intelligence in real time to soldiers in the field.
For civilian uses, the augmented view could allow for web surfing on the go. Innovega is particularly excited about 3D video gaming and is already laying the groundwork for that avenue. Everyone from tourists exploring a new city to drivers navigating a new route could benefit from augmented-reality lenses.
The feed is connected to a smart phone or laptop, so the possibility of widgets or apps being developed for the augmented system are just waiting on hardware.
Innovega is rolling out demo kits already, and is developing the technology as it becomes available.
The iOptik lens could very well change the way people perceive and integrate technology in their lives.