Putting the "Eye" in iPhone

| Tue Sep. 22, 2009 4:37 PM EDT

How's this for creepy: University of Washington engineers have manufactured some distinctly sci-fi contact lenses with the potential to radically alter the way wearers see the world. So far, the lenses contain a single LED, but the inventors say their brainchild could soon be projecting words, pictures and other information just in front of your iris. This, on the heels of several recent advances in augmented reality, seems like it's making the tech dreams of futuristic flicks like Iron Man a reality, complete with jet-pack propulsion and fashion that favors the metallic.  

The practical applications abound, but the creepy Terminator factor is still relatively high, especially when you see the pictures. And then there's the marketing strategy. According to the authors: 

We already see a future in which the humble contact lens becomes a real platform, like the iPhone is today, with lots of developers contributing their ideas and inventions.

Apps for your eye? Heaven forfend!  

Get Mother Jones by Email - Free. Like what you're reading? Get the best of MoJo three times a week.