2AI Labs, an Idaho-based research group, have recently designed three types of glasses which heavily exaggerate the visibility of blood under the skin; boasting a range of new uses for medicine and other professions.
The glasses were inspired by one team member’s investigations into why we see colour, and how our cone cell formation seems built to recognize the change in appearance of other primates as well as receive light.
How do they work?
The glasses work by filtering out or allowing through certain parts of wavelength bands to allow the desired signal to come through clearly. In order to do this efficiently, the lenses contain 3 different filters:
The first ‘vein finder’ filter blocks the signals we see when viewing oxygenated blood, to the extent that the hand appears like a ‘bloody bag’ through the glasses. This is a consequence of the lens’s quality of amplifying the colour of the veins when squeezed and forced to the surface, and is expected to be particularly useful in drawing blood and giving injections.
The second filter known as the ‘haemo finder’ exaggerates our perception of pooling blood under the skin; making it appear darker under the glasses. This ability to see blood rushing to stimulated areas should hold particular use in operations and even in dermatology; where we could see which areas of the skin are lacking in blood flow.
The final filter is termed the ‘oxygenation amplifier’, which enhances our perception of oxygenated blood. This has benefits in visual examination; in which the colour of our skin is often a clear indicator of possible conditions. A pair of lenses which amplify this could make the process quicker and more precise.
Who will get the glasses?
Glasses containing lenses with the third filter are intended to go on sale to the general public some time next year. The team are in talks with major eyewear producers and have commented that the lenses’ ability to enhance visual emotions will find a place in sports, poker, security and dating – though if you blush easily then you might want to stay clear of potential partners who wear them.
The first two lenses are much more suited to the medical profession, and are already on preorder from a number of surgeons and doctors. The team expect their product to be in hospitals by this summer, so we’ll be keeping an eye out for them in the near future.
Robin blogs about health and technological developments for prescription glasses online retailer Directsight.co.uk.