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Gaming/Browsing with bionic contact lenses instead of using a monitor

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 21, 2008 10:27:58 AM

Just found this cool article about contact lenses that gives us the ability to zoom in on distant objects and in the near future they might also show videogames and The Internet in front of our own eyes.

Check it out: http://www.livescience.com/health/080118-super-contacts...
January 21, 2008 10:50:38 AM

It's interesting, but I see it having more military, science and engineering/construction usefulness than gaming or browsing the internet. Playing a game would be far too distracting.

I doubt it will be perfected before I kick off (hopefully when I'm 90), but even if this were the next best thing (ie "Sony PS7" contact lenses), I could not wear them, as I'm blind in one eye due to strabismus.

Back in the late '80's or early '90's, I was in an arcade out of nostalgia looking to see if they had that 4 person D&D sidescroller, and a friend I was with pointed out a martial arts game with a very small screen. I said "why would anyone play that when there's Mortal Kombat over there?" He said that the characters were in 3D, but I couldn't see that at all.

Likewise, when I take my kid to see a 3D movie, I put on the glasses and it's still only 2D to me. I'm not sure what I miss in regular games, but I still enjoy them.

Now, when they come up with a game system that puts you into a 5 minute trance where you experience a character's experiences in dreamlike first person, then that will be one step towards virtual reality. When they learn how to train a brain to see images sent by an eye corrected in position through surgery as mine was when I was a teen, then that would be cool.

These bionic contacts are just one step up from the virtual reality goggles of the 80's and not as useful to gaming or web surfing as you might think. Maybe I'm just being an old fart, but I don't see the technology working for consumer products, but only for specialized conditions where immediate information trumps not blocking useful sight.
January 21, 2008 1:20:14 PM

Well, back in the 80's we didn't have nano technology that was capable of doing this.
You might be underestimating nowadays technology.
It's not right to may compare low tech 3D glasses with this nano tech. It's way offline.
I'm srry to hear that one of your eyes has gone blind but I've read articles about implants that could make some def people hear again. It's allready happening. They also suffer a signal problem and I think it will be all a matter of time that nano tech will also help people out who have eye problems. We can debate all this but only time will tell.
Again we are not scientists so we can't compare this with past technology as this is a whole more complex and different level of tech. We can only guess.
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January 21, 2008 2:06:01 PM

SyPheR said:
Well, back in the 80's we didn't have nano technology that was capable of doing this.
You might be underestimating nowadays technology.
It's not right to may compare low tech 3D glasses with this nano tech. It's way offline.
I'm srry to hear that one of your eyes has gone blind but I've read articles about implants that could make some def people hear again. It's allready happening. They also suffer a signal problem and I think it will be all a matter of time that nano tech will also help people out who have eye problems. We can debate all this but only time will tell.
Again we are not scientists so we can't compare this with past technology as this is a whole more complex and different level of tech. We can only guess.

You should know scientists are already hard at work on implantable "image sensors", to correct various forms of sight problems. I read about that a few years back. At the time they where saying that the first implants would have a very low resolution, so it would appear similar to that pixilated effect they add to people's faces in certain videos to make their faces unrecognizable.
January 23, 2008 9:59:35 PM

Well, my eye is fine, my brain just can't interpret the signals, that's how strabismus works. If the eye is not positioned correctly at birth, the brain eventually locks out the signal. I have vague shape and light perception in my left eye, my right eye is correctable to 20/20 and I had to get bifocals for the first time 2 years ago.

I got surgery to correct the positioning of my pupil when I was 14, but unless surgery is done by age 3, the brain doesn't learn how to interpret images from that eye.. I'm 50 now, and my eye has returned a bit to it's original positioning; that what's they said would happen eventually.

Eventually, they might have a way to reprogram the brain as well as clip the eye muscles to reposition, but we aren't there yet. Strabismus can be inherited, but my son doesn't have it, which is fine by me.

I guess it's wrong to compare '80's tech with today's. It will be even better by 2050 if nanotech pans out, but I've been following tech trends and promises while working with mainframes, then servers for 29 years, so I'm just an old fart who's a bit skeptical by now.

When I was a teen reading Analog and Popular Science, I really expected the future to be more amazing then it is, and I never expected some of the trends that actually did pan out, which are amazing in their own right.
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