Team of researchers at Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have made a lens that functions much like a human eye. This instrument can focus real time. It is done using elastomer muscle. This new lens is a result of combining two researches – Artificial muscle research and Flat lens technology.
This lens can adjust for astigmatism, for which toric colored contacts are also helpful, and image shift. These are two variables that lead to blurry vision in human eye. This makes the lens superior to a natural eye. Interestingly, it doesn’t have any of the traditional bulk spherical lenses. The research is being considered a breakthrough in the field of Virtual reality/Augmented reality, headsets, cameras, telescopes and eye wear.
It takes help of flat lens design called metalens. Here, tiny nanostructures are used to focus light. They allow to focus entire range of visible structure to be focused at a single point. Multiple lenses are commonly used for the same effect which makes them bulky.
The team at SEAS stated, “This design is one centimeter bigger in diameter than our earlier design which was the size of a piece of glitter. It is better to have this bigger size because larger size makes it more appropriate for a lot of modern appliances. For example in cameras, a lens has to cover the sensor to avoid vignetting. Lens has to be made big enough for the same.”
By combining this lens with smaller computer chips VR and AR headsets can be made more comfortable. The latest technology can also further reduce the size of gadgets. However, the consumer has to wait for years before we can start seeing metal lenses in gadgets.