Meet NOVA intern Bo Zhang, a graduate student in Boston University's science journalism story. In her first Inside NOVA post, Bo describes an electronic contact lens that can read your cholesterol level, blood sugar, and more--all from your eyeball. You can read more from Bo at Free Radicals, a brand new web magazine from the BU science journalism program. I'll hand the microphone over to Bo:
Scientists from the University of Washington have been developing a digital contact lens that has miniature antennas, control circuits, and an LED integrated in it, aiming at in-eye health monitoring, since 2004. Because scientists have found the surface of the eye contains a surprising amount data about our body, including cholesterol and blood glucose level, the lens is a non-invasive way to get real-time health data.
Part of a new kind of technology called augmented reality (AR), or a combination of physical real world and a virtual computer-generated imagery, the lens sounds exciting - as neat as something you would read from a sci-fi - but also terrifying. What would a person wearing such contacts look like? Is it safe to have a device with circuits touching your eyeballs? Although live rabbits have been tested wearing these contacts for 20 minutes at a time and without being hurt, we still have to be patient to wait until more promising results to be revealed.
For more on the contact lens, visit the Wired Gadget Lab.
Image courtesy of the University of Washington.