3D Printing Of LED Display Contact Lenses
University of Washington researchers have used a 3D quantum dot LED printer to fabricate a contact lens with built-in information displays.
(3D printed LED contact lens)
By breaking the concept of an LED down to its most basic form, the researchers saw that they neednít think of LEDs as little domed plastic lightbulbs, but simple stacks of interacting material. This printer can lay down an LED with a sandwich structure thatís not unlike any single pixel in an OLED display ó youíve got an emissive layer (in this case nanoparticles of cadmium selenide generally referred to as quantum dots) sandwiched between one layer that can donate electrons and one layer that can accept them. The whole thing can be fused to a surface thanks to the bottom adhesive layer, which is activated with UV light. Best of all, these printed LEDs are ultra-thin, flexible, and almost totally transparent!
The pixels in a contact lens display can take one of two forms. The active approach, exemplified here, uses each pixel is a light source, emitting photons into the eye and creating an image directly. The passive approach would use far less power but would be much more difficult, using each pixel to bend incoming light from the environment to cast a new picture onto the retina. The problem with the active approach is that it requires a fair amount of power to keep running, and wireless power collection relies partially on the physical size of the collecting antenna; when that antenna must be physically fitted inside a contact lens, it imposes a hard upper limit on power supply.
Science fiction readers have had the benefit of several decades of advance notice for these devices. Take a look at the DreamTime Scleral Contact Lenses from Larry Niven and Steve Barnes's 1992 novel California Voodoo Game and more recently the smart contact lens from Vernor Vinge's 2001 story Fast Times at Fairmont High and of course his more recent novel Rainbows End.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/28/2014)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Transparent OLED TV By Panasonic
It's the look of things to come.
Cicret Makes Your Skin Into A Display
'On the translucent mica-like coverings over the orifices, appeared reddish characters...' - Schachner and Zagat, 1931.
Organic Photonic Skin Display
'A strip of readout skin on my wrist...' - John Varley, 1992.
Samsung Patent For Smart Contact Lens Camera Granted
'He realized that it was not quite a clear lens.' - Vernor Vinge, 2001.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
PassivDom 3D Printed House - What If You Could Live Anywhere?
'The houses are prefabricated units...'
Breakthrough In Manufacture Of Red Blood Cells
This blood's for you!
Caihong Solar-Powered Drone 'Atmospheric Satellite'
'... placed in the wings of a plane to generate power from the light falling on that surface.'
NASA Wants Low Earth Orbit Wifi
'This was the center of Interplanetary Communications.'
Is Genetic Testing At Businesses A Bad Idea?
It's not a topic that fares well in science fiction movies-
Wearable Smart Jacket
He pressed the button in his sleeve communicator and snapped: 'Action stations!'
Store One Bit On One Atom
'...each individual molecule has a meaning.'
Fluorescent Bacteria Fashion
'The racks of gowns itched and quivered, their colors running into blurred pools.'
Keith Laumer's Bolo Autonomous Tanks Right On Schedule
'I cannot lie idle under attack.'
When Computers Develop Their Own Language, Will They Talk To Us?
'The curious absent look of a robot talking on the TBR circuits - the Talk Between Robots radio...'
LipNet Reads Lips - Until Disconnected, That Is
'We'd have to cut his higher brain functions... I'm not sure what [HAL} would think about that.'
Eterni.me - To Skype With The Dead
'Nothing... left of Jeserac but a galaxy of electrons frozen in the heart of a crystal.'
Wearable MRI Is Former Occulus/Facebook Exec's New Project
'Your cephalochromoscope... that you always turn on and play when you get home...'
Ford Stratasys Infinte Build 3D Printer
'He proudly indicated his Buick... Almost as good as the original it was printed from...'
The Space Suit As Personal Spaceship
'Darn clever, these suits...'
Dune Fans! Your God Emperor Is Ready
'If one held a sandtrout in the hand, smoothing it over your skin, it formed a living glove.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories