Researchers at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore have developed an innovative micrometer-thin battery that can power smart contact lenses and be charged with tears, according to a university press release. Contact lenses have traditionally been used for vision correction, but with advancements in technology, companies have been striving to create smarter versions that can connect to devices like smartphones and display information directly to the wearer’s eyes. However, these applications require the lenses to have an internal battery.

In the past, Interesting Engineering has reported on companies successfully incorporating augmented reality displays into smart contact lenses. These devices typically use thin batteries with induction coils and wires made of metals, which can pose risks to the user’s eyes. To address this concern, a research team led by Assistant Professor Lee Seok Woo from NTU’s School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE) has developed a battery that eliminates the use of metals.

The NTU team’s battery is incredibly thin, measuring only a few micrometers in thickness. It is designed to be compatible with smart contact lenses, providing a safe and efficient power source without compromising the user’s eye health. The battery can be charged using tears, harnessing the saline solution naturally present in the eye.

This breakthrough in battery technology opens up new possibilities for the development of smart contact lenses that are not only comfortable to wear but also offer enhanced functionality. With further advancements, these lenses could potentially revolutionize the way we interact with digital information and improve the lives of individuals with vision impairments.

The NTU researchers are excited about the potential applications of their battery technology beyond smart contact lenses. They believe it could also be utilized in other wearable devices, such as fitness trackers and medical sensors, where thin and flexible power sources are crucial.

This groundbreaking development showcases Singapore’s commitment to innovation and reinforces NTU’s position as a leading research institution. As technology continues to advance, we can look forward to more exciting breakthroughs that push the boundaries of what is possible in various fields.

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