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Sunday 17 December 2017

Telescopic lenses will give users super-sight

A telescopic contact lens has been developed which can create superhero vision in the blink of an eye.

The magnifying lenses, produced with the help of American defence funding, sound just the job for special agents or cyborg soldiers.

But in reality they are much more likely to help elderly people with fading sight.

The lenses consist of two parts - an inner area which provides normal vision and an outer one which magnifies what is seen around three times.

Switching from one to the other involves donning a special pair of glasses and simply blinking on the left or right side.

Promise

Dr Eric Tremblay, from the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne in Switzerland, who led the research, said: "We think these lenses hold a lot of promise for low vision and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

"The lenses would mostly be used for distance work, maybe when driving, and also for recognising faces, he added."

So far five volunteers have worn the prototypes, developed with support from the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa).

Speaking at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Dr Tremblay said: "Darpa fund things that are really out there - forward-thinking stuff. They're really interested in super-vision."

hnews@herald.ie

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