Next-Gen Contact Lenses Will Send Email Spam to Your Eyeballs. Uggh.

Who is ready for a literal Twitter feed facial?

"No, I didn't get that email yet, honey. Let me put my contact lens in so I can check. Hold on a minute." (Photo: Comstock Images/Getty)

Nov 23, 2011· 0 MIN READ
Salvatore Cardoni holds a political science degree from the George Washington University. He's written about all things environment since 2007.

Say what you will about email spam, but in its current iteration the mass annoyance is only able to infect your inbox and then maybe spread its evil code to the rest of your laptop or iPhone.

Well, that’s all of the do-badding its capable of for now anyway.

A team of scientists from the University of Washington has completed trials on next-gen contact lenses that could project text and images before your eyes, reports CBS News.

The technology works by embedding a custom-made sapphire LED and circular antenna into a plastic contact lens. In the test, a single pixel was controlled by a remote radio frequency transmitting data from the lens.

“Some day maybe we’ll have full-fledged streaming in your contact lens,” said lead researcher Babak Parviz, to the BBC. “If we can make them as comfortable as normal contact lenses, you don’t feel you’re wearing them. In a sense, it’s the ultimate electronic gear that is totally unnoticeable.”

While it sure appears like the future predicted in Terminator and Minority Report is knocking on the door of our daily lives, know that the technology is in its infancy.

Two obstacles stand in the way of everyday, practical application.

One: the energy source can only power the lens if said lens is within a few centimeters of the lens.

Two: the lens can only be worn for a few minutes at a time because it’s made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET)—a hard plastic which doesn't allow the eye to breath.