The Future of Contact Lenses
As a near-sighted child, I reveled in close examination of the world. Small bugs & flowers held close to eye, I can recall countless hours combing over the minutia of objects close up. It was the clouds and stars, so far away & therefore further still from clear in my focus, that were forbidden my appreciations until first getting eyeglasses at 8 years old. How the world opened up! Who knew that those vaguely colored rectangles littered above the roadways were covered in words & pictures? Thus I joined the majority, able to discern the sparkle of the cosmos & droll marketing strategies upon billboards. However, I also noticed, wearing my glasses, that things held ‘up close’ were no longer so finely appreciated. There is a split world, between near and far focus. Until recently, human beings have been forbidden to traverse both fields of perception simultaneously.
I had transitioned to contact lenses when I became a SCUBA diver & discovered the frustration of pursuing beauty beneath the waves, only to be barred closest scrutiny when upon it. Should I be a child born today, things may not be exactly the same for me, as new vision technology is on the horizon. DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, has invested in a new contact lens which will help American soldiers to focus, simultaneously, on both near & distal objects. When combined with the heads-up-display (HUD) equipment embedded into the helmets of soldiers, this technology will allow synchronous focus on the far-off field of action with the data projected scant inches from the eyes of soldiers equipped with such. In effect, following GPS routing to a safer position would not necessitate adjusting focus from the attacking force. This technology is designed to save & improve lives, saying nothing of war’s value to Humanity, though it has historically driven technological innovation..
It is not just soldiers who will benefit from this technology. Set for 2014, Innovega, the company which has developed this contact lens for initial use by the military, will bring this visual technology to the general population. The burgeoning realm of ‘augmented reality,’ 3-D films, and medicine will all be changed by the emergence of such technologies. No longer relegated to childhood domains of either-or, those wearing such contact lenses have access to the stars most far and motes of dust segueing before our pupil with equal clarity.
The world changes. We must change with it. Transhumanism, or H , is the path so many take without even knowing it. Let us embrace those things we are yet to be and let us become something greater than Humanity has ever shown capacity for. Let us do it, with love in place of all we would fear.
But a mere mortal traversing through this journey spewing poetic verve. Part tech enthusiast. Part economist. Part scribe.