Anything less cumbersome than a pair of glasses is welcomed by anyone in need of a corrective optical device. This is why contact lenses have been used for more than a century. The design and construction of these devices has evolved significantly since they were introduced. The first designs were relatively large, heavy and made of blown glass. Modern contact lenses are soft and made of silicone hydrogel. Their versatility has also made them increasingly popular for cosmetic purposes beyond their original intent. More recently, refractive surgery is showing potential to almost cure a few optical conditions of the eye. Now, advances in biotechnology and new materials are shedding light on what might be the next revolution in ophthalmology – the emergence of bionic lenses featuring a plethora of informational capabilities and, more importantly, the ability to enhance natural human vision.
Ocumetics Technology Corporation has been developing an innovative type of bionic lenses that could render corrective glasses and contact lenses entirely obsolete. Dr. Garth Webb has been working on the optical device of the future, which is called the Ocumetrics Bionic Lens, for eight years. The device consists of an artificial biocompatible lens that can be implanted into the eye to replace the eye's natural lens located behind the pupil. This device would then act as an upgraded version of the natural lens, endowing patients with augmented reality perception (in the future), raising the bar of perfect vision, and significantly improving the refractive longevity of the eye while eliminating associated conditions. The implant procedure would be similar to cataract surgery, which is relatively safe and quick.
While conditions such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and cataracts could become things of the past with the Bionic Lens, the real star of the show is the visual upgrade running alongside the increasingly prevalent agenda of human enhancement. Optimal visual acuity for humans is set at 20/20. The new Bionic Lens promises to triple this natural limitation, enabling people to visually perceive the world with unprecedented detail and precision. Furthermore, the bionic device is purported to reduce eye strain because it requires much less energy to respond than the natural lens.
The practicality and safety of the procedure itself could help speed up regulatory approval and commercialization of the Bionic Lens. Dr. Webb's company, Ocumetics Technology Corporation, is currently screening eye professionals and clinics to carry out the first implants on patients. Given the promising upgrade in visual acuity and longevity, a price of slightly over $3000 for a single lens doesn’t sound unreasonable at all. And if the upcoming trials turn out successful, the invention could go commercial in no more than two years. Future versions of the innovative lens could feature augmented reality functionality, thus, pioneering new interfacial revolutions in the current biotechnological technology.