New Contact Lens Darkens Under UV Light, Makes Wearers Look Like A Pokemon


Back when I wore glasses, I used to have them fitted with transition lenses, so they darkened whenever I  was under the sun.  When I shifted to contacts, I had to carry a pair of shades when I'd stay outside too long, since the same technology didn't exactly work for those little soft things you stuck to your eyes.  Until now.

Researchers in Singapore have reportedly managed to produce contact lenses that exhibit the same ability as transitional glasses, darkening on their own after being in the presence of UV light.  As of now, though, the whole lens darkens, making you look like a scary ghoul from one of those Asian horror movies.

Like regular transition glasses, the new photochromic contacts are coated with dye whose individual molecules expand when UV light hits it.  They used a different approach, however, developing a new spongy nanostructure material that allows the dye to stick to the soft surface of contact lenses.  According to the team, the new creation not only works, it manages to darken faster than standard lenses, changing shades in as little as 10 seconds.

Since large, beady black eyeballs make you look either possessed by Satan or a Pokemon, the researchers are now hard at work trying to find a way to restrict the dye within the corneal region.  I say screw it.  Let all  of us wear giant eyeball contact lenses and focus your research on more functional things.  Like x-ray vision and stuff.  I'd rock that.

[Technology Review via Geekologie]