For decades, the general goal of correcting vision with glasses or contacts has been to bring a person’s vision to 20/20. Today, only 35% of all adults have a vision of 20/20 without wearing glasses or contacts, but on the other end, there are scientists and research groups currently on the verge of achieving vision 3x better than 20/20. Futuristic technologies such as flying cars, humanoids, and genetic modification may still seem far-fetched, but ‘Superhuman Vision’ is already later development stages, currently working on regulatory issues, and should be accessible within just 4 to 5 years.
According to Dr. Sanjay Chaudhary of Eye7 Hospitals in India, the quantum and quality of vision can already surpass 20/20, all that’s required is an agency to substantiate these claims and procedures, such as the FDA in the US.
How such enhancements in human ability will change our lives is something no one can accurately predict, but one thing we are sure about is these new innovations can completely alter the face of professional sports.
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1) Bionic Lens Implant
Dr. Garth Webb, a Canadian scientist developed the Ocumetics Bionic Lens with the hope to optimize vision regardless of the age or health. The creator claims a vision span of up to 30 feet which is undisputedly praise-worthy. The lens is inserted in the eye during a quick and painless surgery which gets to work within 10 seconds. This is no less of a miracle because it leaves the user safeguarded from cataract development for a lifetime.
Dr. Webb is working undeterred on this invention since past 8 years, investing close to $3 Million on research and development, securing a biomedical manufacturing facility in Delta, B.C. and obtaining international patents. Dr. Webb states that the user will never need another pair of lenses or glasses in his lifetime. Surveys suggest that 17% NFL players and 16 % of NBA players needed glasses, contact lens and have had refractive surgeries. Poor vision would be no longer a problem with this breakthrough. This invention is presumed to arrive in the commercial market in 2018.
One can only wonder how such implants will impact sports such as archery and long-range shooting, it may not have much impact on other popular sports for now.
Dr. Webb claims that the surgery and the Bionic Lens will not cause any biophysical changes in the eye because of the inert biocompatible polymeric materials used in the composition. The lens does not decay over time and the user is not subjected to any side-effects, unlike most Laser correction surgeries.
2) Superhuman Sportswear Glasses
These sports glasses are specifically designed to improve your eyesight and give you an edge in your favorite sports. An ideal sportswear glass will help you see better and likewise react faster. Experts have been able to identify the specific features and materials needed to make these glasses for each sport. These glasses can be bought online or designed by an experienced optometrist for the sport you love.
Badminton players can go for goggles made with polycarbonate or trivex lenses. Baseball, Basketball and field-hockey players can go for wraparound, shatterproof glasses with an attached head strap. For Golf, hunting, and shooting, one can go for polarized glasses. Likewise, there are specific glasses for each sport to enhance the vision. Such sports eyewear help prevent eye injuries and risk of potential damages.
The Sports Eyewear are tried and tested by athletes and shooters and have claimed noticeable changes in the eyesight and performance. However, so far, there have been no ill-effects reported by the sportspersons upon usage. It is only getting better with transformations and innovations.
3) Telescopic Contact Lenses
These Contact Lenses straight from the future are about to change the game. The Telescopic Contact Lenses are in the pipeline and a Swiss researcher, Eric Tremblay is working day in and day out to make this concept a reality. The user can switch between normal and magnified vision with the blink of an eye. These visionary lenses are equipped with miniature mirrors which allow you to “zoom in and zoom out.” The small mirrors in this lens bounce the incoming light and expand the size of the view for a clearer picture. This invention will completely transform the vision of players in Archery and Shooting.
Tremblay introduced its prototypes at the American Association For The Advancement of Science Annual Meeting in February 2017. Since then, several changes have been made to the invention and is set to hit the markets in early 2018.
The revolutionary invention will help Macular Degeneration patients in retaining their vision. The condition causes a gradual loss of central vision and subsequent loss of complete vision, but if this lens works this debilitating condition can be curbed without cumbersome surgeries. The lens is simply mounted inside the lenses of the prescription glasses, suitable for different powers.
Superhuman Vision is no more a myth and this innovation strongly supports the statement. While the inventor claims of no ill-effects on the users, the Telescopic Lens differ from an appealing pair of glasses. The aesthetics have not received much focus but should be improved in subsequent versions. Besides magnifying the view, the lens also makes it brighter and clearer.
4) Tetrachromatic Shades
These shades will make it possible for humans to distinguish between colors, slightly different from one another. Created by the researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. They empower the wearer’s color vision and help detect eerily similar shades of the same color. Once developed, these shades could come in handy to spot camouflaged targets in sensitive areas and to identify counterfeit currency.
The researchers are currently working on introducing new filters and features to the shades to help distinguish metamers at the blue end of the visible spectrum. After more hues could be distinguished with the features, researchers plan to use sensory enhancement movements to guard fruits and vegetables against spoiling by observing the changes in the colors, which go unnoticed with the naked eye. The shades are set to encompass designs to impart peripheral vision which is essential for various sports.
The researchers are yet to study the effects of Tetrachromatic shades if any. Since the concept is yet to be materialized, it is difficult to predict its effects just yet.
The world is witnessing great innovations and the day is not far when the 20/20 plus vision becomes a reality. The aforementioned inventions could open possibilities for development of artificial eye for the visually impaired and set another benchmark for scientific advancement.
It is strongly recommended to consult a Sports Vision Specialist to help you choose the best eyewear to excel in the sport you love.