Researchers at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore have developed a groundbreaking 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. To enable these functionalities, the lenses require an internal battery.

In the past, Interesting Engineering has covered how companies have incorporated augmented reality displays into smart contact lenses. However, these devices typically use thin batteries with induction coils and metal wires, which pose potential risks to the user’s eyes.

Now, a research team led by Lee Seok Woo, an assistant professor at NTU’s School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE), has developed a battery that eliminates the need for metals. This breakthrough battery technology opens up new possibilities for safer and more comfortable smart contact lenses.

The team’s innovative lens battery utilizes a saline solution to generate power, making it both safe and convenient for users. By harnessing the natural moisture in the eye, the battery can be charged with tears, eliminating the need for external power sources or frequent battery replacements.

This development marks a significant step forward in the field of wearable technology, offering potential applications beyond smart contact lenses. The NTU researchers envision their battery technology being used in various wearable devices, such as medical implants and fitness trackers.

Professor Lee Seok Woo, who led the research team, expressed excitement about the potential impact of their invention. He stated, “Our lens battery opens up possibilities for new types of wearable devices that are safer and more comfortable for users. We hope that this technology will pave the way for further advancements in wearable electronics and healthcare.”

The NTU team’s groundbreaking lens battery technology demonstrates the power of innovation and highlights Singapore’s position as a hub for cutting-edge research and development. With their invention, they have brought us one step closer to a future where wearable devices seamlessly integrate into our daily lives.

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