Optical Prism Magazine Jan/Feb 2013 - Page 29

by Sheila O’Hearn he current use of new eye technologies are correcting vision and certain eye diseases, but future advances, as developed by the innovative, fouryear-old Washington-based Innovega Incorporated, might well transform how humans see, interpret and interact with the physical world on a daily basis. Funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Science Foundation, the company’s researchers and scientists are developing the iOptik™ device—virtual reality contact lenses to help enhance normal vision with megapixel 3D panoramic images. Imagine a motor vehicle operator or sight-seeing pedestrian able to access a 3D version of real-time GPS data right before their eyes, with arrows pointing out a precise destination or giving you a read-out of information! Virtual gaming via iOptik means you interact directly with the images and become a “living” part of the game, instead of just watching images on a screen. Best of all, the technology would be small enough to fit in your eye as a contact lens, and worn with lightweight eyewear, allowing you to view virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR) images without the use of any bulky apparatus. Instead of oversized VR helmets, digital images are projected onto tiny displays in full color that sit very near to your eye. Meanwhile, according to a recent BBC report, Innovega signed a contract to supply the Defense T Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) with a prototype of its iOptik spectacles and accompanying contact lenses. The augmented-reality system could improve the awareness of soldiers in the field. Recognized as one of the top 10 inventions of 2012, the device is the He was the managing partner of a seven-doctor multispecialty practice in San Diego, where he provided clinical care for 26 years. He is the co-founder of SynergEyes, and his 22 issued U.S. patents and more than 30 pending applications include inventions for corneal refractive surgery brainchild of two industry leaders, who work alongside a formidable team of cutting-edge scientists and researchers. Innovego CEO Steve Willey is a Canadian citizen residing in Vancouver, and was the founder and president of MicroVision in Seattle, a company he took public on the NASDAQ Stock Market. Dr. Jerome A. Legerton is the lead inventor on the issued patent, and is also an established author, lecturer, and consultant to the ophthalmic industry. for presbyopia, Paragon CRT, hybrid contact lenses, regulation of myopia progression, scleral contact lenses and contact lenses for wearable displays. Interviewed recently by Optical Prism, Dr. Legerton discusses the ramifications of the invention and how it promises to take social media to it next evolution, virtually dating small-screened conventional mobile devices with its capacity to generate displays with a screen-size equivalent to a 240-inch television, viewed 10 feet away.