DARPA will buy prototype heads-up display for combat data in a contact lens

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) just signed a contract under which an optics company called Innovega in Bellvue, Wash. will develop a version of its dual-focus contact lens and accompanying HUD-display (heads up display) eyeglasses to DARPA’s specs

The contact lens allows human eyes to simultaneously focus on images that are ultra-close and those that are farther away by piping in the image from an accessory such as a HUD display and display it using the multiple-focus optic splitter designed into the contact lenses.

Making wearable HUD displays smaller, lighter, more energy efficient and easier to use is a huge priority for those within the military eager to put tactical information in the hands of troops who need it. Past efforts have provided useful information – according to the evaluations of the troops testing them in the field – but were too heavy, too awkward or displayed data too out of date to be useful to most ground troops.

Innovega says a contact lens with heads up display (HUD) could be released to the public in 2014

BBC News – The lenses allow the wearer to focus on both the information projected onto the glasses’ lenses and the more distant view that can be seen through them. They do this by having two different filters.

The central part of each lens sends light from the HUD towards the middle of the pupil, while the outer part sends light from the surrounding environment to the pupil’s rim.

The images are being displayed in the glasses but the contact lenses help the person look at the augmented data and the regular field of view

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