Remember the Google glasses that came out a few years ago? Though it was a working product, it wasn’t very user-friendy. Besides that, it made the wearer look like Cyborg. eMacula is a revolutionary new augmented reality and virtual reality system designed by Innovega. The eMacula is a new generation of eyewear that combines smart contact lenses and stylish, lightweight glasses. These contact lenses and display eyewear were designed, patented, developed and then clinically tested by a team of optometrists, ophthalmologists, optical physicists, and engineers. The system will also be tailored to the needs of vision impaired patients who will benefit from both lens-based vision correction and from magnification and digital enhancement of the view of their surroundings.
eMacula solves a problem inherent to head mounted augmented reality systems. The human eye doesn’t like focusing on screens that are too close, and can’t focus on the foreground and background at the same time. eMacula gets around this using a combination of spectacles and contact lenses which allow the user an unimpeded view of the real world, while simulaneouslydelivering a clear view of rich media that is displayed on dual micro-displays embedded in the glasses.
This means that media on the screen merges with the outside world, creating a seamless augmented reality experience. eMacula goes beyond any other system available today.
In the case of an AR configuration, the eMacula system is different from previous AR glasses, such as Google Glass, which delivered-a low resolution, single-eye, narrow (15-degree) field of view experience. The eMacula system delivers mega-pixel resolution across a panoramic (50–100 degrees) field of view experience, and to each of the wearer’s eyes.
The personalized contact lens component of the eMacula system incorporates the wearer’s usual vision prescription, but also a small lens at its center which enables the user to focus on digital content provided by near-eye microdisplays mounted within the glasses.
Innovega is currently engaged in seeking FDA approval for the new generation of contact lenses that are used in the system, and both wearer testing and Phase II clinical trials are under way. Innovega has also designed an intra-ocular lens that could be surgically implanted during cataract surgery inside the eye, which can provide the user with an improved view of their surrounding, plus an ability to view near-eye, high performance displays mounted in smart glasses. A complete appraisal of this opportunity will require clinical assessment in the future.
“Allowing a user to have their digital media within their normal and unobstructed field of view means that people will stop staring at their phones and devices and start looking at each other again,” says Jay Marsh, vice president of engineering at Innovega.
“It means that bio-metric health monitoring can be truly ‘real time, all the time’ and with driving/navigation directions painted on the road in front of you, you will never be distracted with a gaze shift to your mobile devices for guidance.”