Unfortunately, the title is a little misleading, or at best, not just yet. However, the implications for a wide range of instruments that rely on lenses within the optometry and optical world are quite significant.
A penny per lens. Or less to be more specific. Scientists at the Australian National University have developed procedures to create lenses, of high quality, but at very low costs. At less than a single penny, the technique claims to be able to develop polymer lenses for use in devices that require significant magnification, such as instruments used by optometrists and ophthalmologists.
The polymer that is used is called polydimethylsiloxane. Using just two drops of the liquid which is applied in two stages of heat application, and the use of gravity to allow for a 'drip drying' curvature, the simple process allows for the creation of small, cost effective lenses, perfect for use on continents such as Africa.
Such a procedure would surely have a marked result in the market of contact lenses. However, the technology is not yet fit for such application.