Engineering Minute

Engineering Minute – Battery Powered Electronic Contact Lens

An engineering team at IMT Atlantique Bretagne Pays de la Loire, in France has developed an electronic contact lens that contains a flexible micro battery. The battery integrated into the contact lens has made it possible to continuously supply a light-emitting diode (LED) for several hours. This new development opens up many new avenues and applications for electronic contact lenses, from medical to consumer products. 


"This first project is part of a larger and very ambitious project aimed at creating a new generation of oculometers linked to the emergence of augmented reality helmets that have given rise to new uses (man-machine interfaces, cognitive load analysis, etc.). This opens up huge markets, while at the same time imposing new constraints on precision and integration," says Jean-Louis de Bougrenet de la Tocnaye, head professor of the Optics Department at IMT Atlantique.


the first stand-alone contact lens with a flexible micro battery
The first stand-alone contact lens with a flexible micro battery. Credit: IMT Atlantique

From the IMT Atlantique  article: "The battery integrated within the lens will complement and power other functions being developed at IMT Atlantique, such as RF communication (wireless function) and particularly optical detection of gaze direction. The applications are vast, ranging from health (surgical assistance) to automotive (driving assistance) and concern the emerging connected objects sector.


This project will also be an opportunity to integrate the latest advances in graphene-based flexible electronics in particular, which will make it possible to work with transparent materials, a great advantage in the case of a contact lens. This innovation illustrates a key function of augmented human beings (assisted vision), a biosensory paradigm (e.g. bio-acceptability, autonomy, computational complexity, communication systems, micro-battery etc.). This project will involve numerous collaborations, including one with the Institut de la Vision in Paris, for a visual assistance device for the blind."


Read more about the battery powered electronic contact lens and IMT Atlantique.