Google has solar-powered contact lenses in sight
(Image Credit: Lee Haywood)
A patent has been awarded to Google for solar-powered contact lenses which sit on an individual's eyeball to monitor a variety of conditions and offer a range of detailed insights about the user's current health status.
Google is known for some crazy ideas, which is what makes them one of the most exciting companies to watch. Some of these ideas reach spectacular heights – like Project Loon appears set to do – whilst others just dissipate, like their infamous Google Wave project.
This new patent, we hope, will be one of the more successful of Google's projects if it becomes a commercial product. The eyeball, being a constant source of bodily fluid, can offer more insights than current wearable devices such as smartwatches can achieve through a user's skin alone.
Google could seek to implement Glass-like features into the lenses
A wearable device on the eyeball, through a contact lens that many people are used to, could monitor things like glucose levels for diabetics, lactate or urea levels, internal body temperature, and/or blood alcohol content of the wearer to alert them it's time for grabbing an Uber home.
Beyond just bodily conditions, the device could even monitor external conditions including user-defined allergens such as pollen, or even biological, chemical, or microbiological hazards. The latter could help in preventing the spread of infectious diseases, or alert the user to seek urgent medical attention in the case of exposure before a subsequent illness becomes more difficult to manage.
It’s possible that Google could seek to implement Glass-like features into the lenses for things like taking photos through blink recognition, or triggering an image search of what the wearer is looking at. This could be a dangerous move as Google Glass has triggered privacy fears in the past; a device far less discreet than a contact lens.
You can see the full information about Google's contact lens patent here, but prepare your own eyeballs for the usual legal jargon.
Do you foresee potential for digital contact lenses? Let us know in the comments.
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