Top News from Leading Digital Manufacturing Solution Providers
December 10, 2012
LCD Contacts Put Dollar Signs in UGent's Eyes
Ever wish you could change your eye color on demand? Researchers at the Centre of Microsystems Technology (CMST), IMEC's associated lab at Ghent University in Belgium, have unveiled a working prototype of a curved LCD display thin enough to embed within a contact lens. This breakthrough could pave the way for augmented reality contact lenses, featuring heads-up displays, built-in sunglasses and iris-color changes in the blink of an eye.
Until now, the stumbling block to integrating electronic displays into contacts has been the spherical curve of the lens. “Normally, flexible displays using liquid crystal cells are not designed to be formed into a new shape, especially not a spherical one,” explains researcher Jelle De Smet from IMEC's lab at Ghent University. “Thus, the main challenge was to create a very thin, spherically curved substrate with active layers that could withstand the extreme molding processes. Moreover, since we had to use very thin polymer films, their influence on the smoothness of the display had to be studied in detail. By using new kinds of conductive polymers and integrating them into a smooth spherical cell, we were able to fabricate a new LCD-based contact lens display.”
While there has been research into integrating LEDs into contact lenses, researchers and Ghent and IMEC believe their breakthrough shows more promise because LCDs can be integrated into the entire display surface, whereas LED displays of this type are limited to only a few pixels. They hope the technology will prove valuable both to the medical and cosmetic fields, offering sun protection to maintain eye health while being able to enhance the user's natural eye color.
Currently, though, the display is limited in its capabilities. The dollar sign pattern demonstrated on the current prototype looks more like the display on a graphing calculator than the images advertised on Apple's Retina Display (which, ironically, has nothing to do with contact lens displays).
However, their ambition extends far beyond this first prototype. “Now that we have established the basic technology,” says Professor Herbert De Smet, supervisor at CMST, “we can start working towards real applications, possibly available in only a few years time.”
But with a breakthrough like this, it looks as though Ghent University researchers may be the ones with dollar signs in their eyes.
Less than a decade after the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) gave the greenlight on autonomous vehicle research, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) has driven self-driving cars closer to reality, demonstrating that it’s not a question of if driverless cars will grace our highways and backroads, but when. Read more...
At this year’s Supercomputing conference, Ohio made its mark with a $6.4 million public-private initiative designed to bring high performance computing (HPC) to manufacturers of all sizes—particularly to those small-to-medium-sized companies for which the technologies are cost-prohibitive. Read more...
A consortium of 45 partners have assembled in Europe with the hope of fortifying the international manufacturing marketplace through modeling and simulation tools. After an initial phase of closed testing led by the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC), the new HPC cloud project is opening its doors. Read more...
Dec 05, 2013 |
Back in July, Curiosity, NASA’s Mars rover, began a 5.3 mile journey to Mount Sharp, a 3.4 mile-high mountain in the Gale Crater. However, in late October, the rover completed a two-day drive all on its own thanks to Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute and their autonomous navigation software. Read more...
Dec 04, 2013 |
On September 2, 2013, the EU project titled “LIAA” was set in motion. With the project, scientists will help to develop robotic systems and applications that will be used for assembly in manufacturing, and in doing so help humans and robots to better work together. Read more...
Nov 26, 2013 |
Siemens Industry Software India (SISW) has signed an agreement with the Government of Gujarat’s Ministry of Industries and Mines to launch five Centers of Excellence (COEs) in the state. These centers will specifically be aimed at skill development in higher education. Read more...
07/30/2013 | IBM | This white paper examines various means of adapting technical computing tools to accelerate product and services innovation across a range of commercial industries such as manufacturing, financial services, energy, healthcare, entertainment and retail. No longer is technically advanced computing limited to the confines of big government labs and academic centers. Today it is available to a wide range of organizations seeking a competitive edge.
06/25/2013 | Intel | The UberCloud HPC Experiment has achieved the volunteer participation of 500 organizations and individuals from 48 countries with the aim of exploring the end-to-end process employed by digital manufacturing engineers to access and use remote computing resources in HPC centers and in the cloud. This Compendium of 25 case studies is an invaluable resource for engineers, managers and executives who believe in the strategic importance of applying advanced technologies to help drive their organization’s productivity to perceptible new levels.