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The Pentagon has placed an order for a prototype augmented reality display system that is based on dual focus contact lenses with an expanded field of vision. The system, called iOptik and developed by Innovega, allows the wearer to focus on a HUD at the same time as the surrounding environment by projecting an image onto different sections of the lens. HUD information goes through to the center of the pupil, and light from the wearer's peripheral vision is filtered out to avoid interference. The US military already uses HUDs on the battlefield, but they require bulky equipment and the wearer must actively focus on the information displayed. However, iOptik uses a lightweight eyewear system that doesn't look entirely dissimilar to what G...

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MrSeb writes "Electrical engineers and material scientists at MIT have created a fiber-borne laser that could be woven to form a flexible display that could project different 3D images in any number of directions, to any number of viewers. MIT's fiber is similar to standard telecoms fiber, but it has a tiny droplet of fluid embedded in the core. When laser light hits the fluid, it scatters, effectively creating a 360-degree laser beam. The core is then surrounded by layers of liquid crystal, which can be controlled like 'pixels,' allowing the laser light to escape from specific points anywhere along the length of the fiber. This means that you could have a display that shows one picture on the 'front' and another on the 'back' — or different, glasses-free 3D images for everyone sitting in front and behind. In the short term, the laser fiber is more likely to have a significant application in photodynamic therapy, an area of medicine where drugs are activated using light. Photodynamic therapy is one of the only ways to treat cancer in a relatively non-invasive and non-toxic manner. MIT's laser could be threaded into almost any part of the body, where the ability to produce pixels of laser light at any point along its length would make it a highly accurate device."

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