Zooming-in the Eye of the Beholder

July 30, 2019

Imagine being able to zoom in like a camera by simply blinking, whilst still enjoying perfect twenty-twenty vision. You no longer need to imagine, as scientists from the University of California have developed a device that can do just that.

The robotic lens – referred to as a “biomimetic soft lens” – is controlled by subtle eye movements, utilising double blinks to zoom in and out. This is accomplished through the electrical signals that activate when the eye is closed.

The actual lens itself is basically a thin layer of salt water contained in a case made out of polymers – an engineered substance – that is programmed to respond to the electrical signals.

Shengqiang Cai, lead researcher of the project, said: “Even if your eye cannot see anything, many people can still move their eyeball and generate this electro-oculographic signal.”

The device holds great potential as the research team believe it could be used to help people with disabilities, such as controlling their robotic prosthetics and other machines.