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 working on creating 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 how companies have incorporated augmented reality displays into smart contact lenses. These devices typically use thin batteries with induction coils and metal wires, which can pose 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 not only enhances safety but also opens up new possibilities for the future of smart contact lenses.

The team’s micrometer-thin battery can be powered by tears, making it a convenient and sustainable solution. By harnessing the saline solution naturally present in the eye, the battery can generate and store energy to power the smart contact lens.

This innovative development has the potential to revolutionize the field of wearable technology and improve the functionality of smart contact lenses. With further advancements, these lenses could offer a seamless and integrated user experience, providing real-time information and enhancing vision correction capabilities.

Professor Lee Seok Woo and his team’s groundbreaking work represents a significant step forward in the development of smart contact lenses. Their battery technology not only eliminates risks associated with metal components but also taps into the body’s natural resources for sustainable power. As research continues in this field, we can expect exciting advancements that will shape the future of wearable technology.

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