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New micro battery solves smart contact lens conundrum

French engineering institute IMT Atlantique has unveiled a world-first micro battery designed to overcomes the significant challenge of small-scale energy storage in the development of smart contact lenses.

The technology has reportedly courted the interest of the US military and has the potential to one day deliver enhanced visual capabilities in the battlefield, as well as medical and automotive assistance.

The research team from IMT’s Optics Department and the Flexible Electronics Department at the Centre Microélectronique de Provence have demonstrated their micro battery by integrating it into a contact lens. The B\battery supplied power to an LED for several hours, removing the need for a bulky external energy source.

The battery is now expected to power other contact lens technology under development at IMT, including wireless radio frequency communication and detection of optical gaze direction.

“The applications are vast, ranging from health (surgical assistance) to automotive (driving assistance) and concern the emerging connected objects sector,” Professor Jean-Louis de Bougrenet de la Tocnaye, from IMT, said.

The researchers noted their project also allowed for the integration of the latest advances in “graphene-based flexible electronics”. This will make it possible to work with transparent materials when, developing smart lenses.

Carl Zeiss

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