Published: 2022-11-20

A novel adaptive metal lens, which is essentially a flatter, electronically-controlled eye, that corrects the primary causes of distorted vision, including astigmatism was developed by Harvard researchers who were inspired by the structure of the human eye. Such a construct truly combines two recent technological advances: the development of meta-lenses with focus-adjustable capabilities (like the human eye) and artificial musculature.



Do you see well in the dark?

Human eyes are a masterpiece unto themselves, as long as they don’t break down.  And then when they begin to deteriorate, which sooner or later happens to everyone, that degree of admiration for the eyes and beauty of the world decreases.  But when that vision returns, especially with the help of your assistants (a great experience that I have had myself), then the pleasure of seeing the beauty of the world is yours all over again.

I already wrote about the bionic lenses that will replace your natural ones, but there is also a parallel study.

Inspired by the structure of the human eye, specialists from Harvard created a new adaptive metal lens, which is in essence is a flatter, electronically-controlled eye.

It also hits all targets at once, correcting the main causes of distorted vision, including astigmatism.

Such an invention is actually the combination of two technological breakthroughs in the fields of artificial musculature, on the one hand, and the creation of meta-lenses which can adjust focus (like the human eye) on the other.

This entails a built-in optical zoom and auto-focus, so to speak, and can be used in a variety of mediums – in eyeglasses, smartphone cameras, and in virtual and augmented reality.

And looking into the future (you don’t even need rose-colored glasses to do it), maybe this is the first step in the creation of artificial eyes.  It’s true, though, that this will take a long time.

The problem right now is connecting the metal lens to the artificial muscle in such a way that doesn’t compromise its ability to focus light.  In the human eye, the lens is surrounded by ciliary muscles, which stretch or squeeze to adjust focal distance.  What are they replacing that with?  For this purpose, scientists have chosen transparent dielectric elastomers, since they can be controlled by varying the voltage.  When the artificial muscles contract, nanotubes in the metal shift.  So what, you may ask?  As a result, an image is corrected.  And we’re talking about extremely tiny gadgets here – the thickness of the lens and musculature is about 30 microns.

Does this seem like boring stuff?  Maybe, but if everything works out, then we will enter a new technological era, and by “we” I am referring (among others) to us at Benjamin Eye.  Of all people, we would not pass up these new discoveries.

Arthur Benjamin