A new type of contact lens allows wearers to see virtual images laid over their real-world view. Created by Innovega, a US-based wearable displays developer, the lens permits a wearer to focus on an image projected onto a pair of lightweight glasses, augmenting reality right before their eyes. By enabling the wearer to see images at close and long range simultaneously, the iOptik nanotechnology-equipped contact lens provides two fields of view at once. Free of bulky goggles, users have more freedom of movement and perception. Applications include widescreen immersive 3D films, 360° video games and mobile augmented reality applications where cellphone information can annotate the real world. For defense applications, the military is testing a prototype of the iOptik lens to enable soldiers in the field to visualize aerial intelligence information in real time.


We have all used Google Earth to zoom in from space to see our street. Now, thanks to a visualization technique called “virtual nanoscopoy,” cell biologists can navigate and zoom in on biological tissues at the subcellular level – a vast improvement over the time when they could capture only a tiny portion of a cell in a single image. Researchers at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands developed the technique by combining thousands of electron microscopy images into single, high-resolution images. Using a zebra fish embryo, a fully formed vertebrate organism small enough to fit under an electron microscope, scientists demonstrated the technique by panning and zooming more than 26,000 images of the 1.5 mm-long embryo at a resolution of 16 million pixels per inch.


Researchers at Intel Labs are working to take the guesswork out of online shopping. The goal of the long-term project called “Magic Mirror” is to enable shoppers to try the look of clothes online using a virtual 3D avatar. The avatar is created from data of body scans of actual people, which shoppers then adjust to their own measurements. The “Magic Mirror” could also help brick-and-mortar retailers to compete with online vendors. In-store shoppers could save time by standing in front an LCD monitor and trying clothes on virtually — even if the article is not in stock.

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