London, Feb 3 : Researchers at the University of Washington have created a contact lens, which is capable of projecting a telephone display directly on to the retina.
The development of the lens means that the days of picking up a mobile phone to read a text message might soon become a history.
In the future, the only thing one has to do is to stare closely at a projected image in front of the eyes.
The lens, which is as thin and as comfortable to wear as an ordinary hard contact lens, could allow any high-resolution image to be displayed in front of the eye.
Eventually, games, documents, and music collections could all be displayed in a user's field of vision.
"We realised that we could make really tiny functional devices that can be incorporated into a contact lens to do a lot more than just improve vision," Times Online quoted Babak Parviz, Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington, as saying.
"Our goal is to integrate a display which can do everything that an iPhone or computer does now - but in front of your eye. A user could manipulate the document by blinking or by using his voice," Parviz added.
The researchers created a functional circuit that is biologically compatible with the eye by incorporating metal circuitry and light-emitting diodes into a polymer-based lens.
Ultra-thin antennas, a few nanometres thick, are used to transmit information wirelessly to the outside world.
The lens could let users live in an 'augmented reality'.
Computer images superimposed on to the field of vision could give soldiers and doctors real-time information about their environment, as well as allowing civilians to browse through their music collection.