French engineering school IMT Atlantique revealed what it calls “the first stand-alone contact lens with a flexible micro battery” that caught the attention of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to augment troops’ visual capabilities in the field.
The biggest challenge that IMT Atlantique engineers encountered was to scale down the battery. But a developed flexible micro battery, they found a way to continuously light an LED light source for “several hours.”
The “graphene-based flexible electronics” could further enhance the smart contact lens’ capabilities. Applications could range from assisting surgeons in the operating room to helping out drivers on the road.
And now the military wants in on the project as well. Even tech giant Microsoft is ready to invest two million euros which is notable, considering the tech company’s recent HoloLens contract with the U.S. Army.
“All the elements are ready,” Jean-Louis Bougrenet de la Tocnaye, project lead at IMT Atlantique, told. “We should integrate it in October 2019 and hope to start testing in 2020. Then we will be able to go to the qualifying clinical tests.”