Scientists in Singapore have made a groundbreaking discovery in the field of smart contact lenses. While tech giants like Apple and Meta are competing to develop “smart” glasses, researchers in Singapore have found a way to create a battery that could revolutionize smart contact lenses.
One of the challenges faced by scientists was finding a safe and efficient way to power these lenses. The solution came in the form of a tear-fluid-charged, ultra-thin battery. This innovative battery would allow the lenses to transmit computer information or augmented reality displays directly into the wearer’s eyes.
What makes this battery even more remarkable is that it is powered by tears. According to reports from Yahoo and New Atlas, the battery harnesses the power of tear fluid to generate electricity. This breakthrough technology could pave the way for smart contact lenses that are powered by human tears.
In recent years, electronically augmented contact lenses have been developed for various purposes such as monitoring glaucoma, delivering eye medication, and projecting augmented-reality imagery. However, the way these devices are currently powered is far from ideal.
The most common battery charging system for smart contact lenses involves metal electrodes in the lens, which can be harmful if exposed to the naked human eye. Another method, induction charging, requires a metal coil in the lens to transmit power, similar to a wireless charging pad for smartphones.
To overcome these limitations, scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore have developed a flexible battery as thin as a human cornea. This battery stores electricity when immersed in saline solution or tear fluid. The enzyme in the battery reacts with sodium and chloride ions in the tear fluid, generating an electrical charge within the water in the battery. Essentially, the water serves as the “wire” or “circuitry” for electricity generation.
The battery is made from biocompatible materials and does not contain wires or toxic heavy metals like lithium-ion batteries or wireless charging stations. It also has a glucose-based coating that reacts with the sodium and chloride ions in the surrounding saline solution.
In lab tests using a simulated human eye and tear solution, researchers found that the battery’s lifespan could be extended by an additional hour for every 12-hour wearing cycle. It is recommended to place the lenses in a saline solution overnight for at least eight hours to ensure they are fully charged in the morning.
This groundbreaking technology has the potential to revolutionize the field of smart contact lenses. It offers a safe and efficient way to power these devices, eliminating the need for harmful metal electrodes or bulky charging systems. The use of tear fluid as a power source opens up new possibilities for wearable technology and could greatly enhance the user experience.
To see actual pictures of these smart contact lenses, you can visit New Atlas and Yahoo.