We have augmented reality video games and apps for our Android and iPhones, but imagine being able to drop some contact lenses onto your eyes and not be forced to see the modded world thru a camera phone. This is what researchers at Washington University are planning to achieve in the near future. Their plan, to allow the wearers to see a TV show, movie, pictures, and even HUDs right in their field of vision, all that without the need for a screen, simply by projecting the images directly into the eyeball.
Besides the obvious military use (it is American technology after all…) I can immediately imagine several useful applications for this technology, from augmented reality video games, that will seem very real and very frightening if I look at the current trend in AR video games, to new ways to watch movies, follow sporting events and receive GPS directions while driving. Although I can imagine that operating a motor vehicle while wearing these might be at least mildly hazardous, and at most, quite dangerous, depending on the driving skills of the beholder.
Then there is the problem that we have already observed with the 3DS, eventually someone will figure that it would be a good idea to make it 3D, after all it would be easy to offset slightly the images on either eye. I suppose that the next step beyond 3D will be to simply skip the ocular organs and broadcast directly in the brain, perhaps in our sleep. Can anyone remember the obscure 1980s horror movie The Prince Of Darkness? Alice Cooper does.