Augmented reality without glasses

Diagram of artificial lense

Artificial lens diagram via

Six months ago, Omega Ophthalmics did a small trial of seven patients outside of the US. Their goal was to test for adverse effects of a surgery similar to lens replacements that often accompany cataract removals. The difference? Rather than replacing the cloudy lens with a normal artificial lens, surgeons instead implanted a lens that could be used for augmented reality, interactive sensors, or drug delivery.

Why it’s hot

Although widespread adoption of this technology is unlikely in the near future, scientists, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists hope that there is a market for such implants in an aging population that wants to be independent for longer. Whether this small trial is successful may pave the way for larger trials to test additional possibilities and risk.

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how technology is helping us reflect on ourselves…

Most of the time when you read about robotics, it’s about the technological feats and capabilities being accomplished. But a robotic installation called Mimic, created recently for the Toronto Film Festival, took a different tack. A company called Design I/O took an industrial robot arm, built for “automation in industrial applications, from welding to palletizing to injection molding”, and gave it a human personality and human reactions. The robot was able to interact with people around it, exhibiting three human inclinations – trust, interest, and curiosity, “along with a taxonomy for body language that correspond to what the UR5 is feeling”. According to Design I/O’s Theo Watson, “We realized that these three feelings could define so much in how the robot responds to visitors…and in some ways these are some of the most primary metrics we lean on in our daily interactions, so much so that they aren’t immediately obvious.”

Why it’s hot

First, it shows how inevitably the interactions we have with “bots” could be more humanlike – how they could physically react based on our emotions and movements. But what’s interesting to me is how as we are doing this, it forces a natural reflection on what makes us interact the way we do as humans. Not that there isn’t probably large amounts of scientific research on the inner workings of our brains and bodies to explain, but on a more pedestrian level, it’s reminding us of “how we work” as human beings.