you’ll see it

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you, you may even­tu­ally be able to use a per­sonal HUD. A team un­der Babak Parviz at the Univer­sity of Wash­ing­ton in the United States has de­vised a pro­to­type for a con­tact lens that could one day beam HUD im­ages straight into your eyes.

Ac­tive con­tact lenses would fa­cil­i­tate a re­lated de­vel­op­ment called aug­mented re­al­ity. This is al­ready avail­able on some smart­phones, where com­put­er­gen­er­ated graph­ics are over­laid on live video from the phone’s cam­era, turn­ing the phone into a kind of magic lens on to the world. In­for­ma­tion like di­rec­tions, points of in­ter­est and even trans­la­tions of signs aug­ment the nat­u­ral view. This is amaz­ing on a hand-held, but with a HUD-ca­pa­ble con­tact lens the user could be im­mersed per­ma­nently in an aug­mented world, in­ter­fac­ing with dig­i­tal de­vices around them.

It is hard to be sure whether HUDs are a fad or the fu­ture, but it seems likely they will find some place in our lives. So heads up!

Oh so cool: Cana­dian com­pany Re­con In­stru­ments de­vel­ops ski gog­gles with heads-up dis­plays. De­spite the fan­ci­ful speed (100kmh, left screen), these can in­clude map­ping dis­plays (mid­dle two screens) and video (right).

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