We’ve known for some time that Google is working on its own brand of contact lenses designed to measure glucose levels in tears and provide instant feedback about a user’s health. A new patent takes this technology one step further, with the latest filing including the option of a microscopic camera built into the contact lens itself.
Essentially, we’re talking about an invisible version of Google Glass arriving at some point in the future. Not only could users log their lives like never before, but those with sight defects could be given a means to see the world around them more clearly. According to the documentation submitted by Google, the lens could have a super zoom feature built in.
Applying for a patent doesn’t necessarily mean Google has cracked the technology or that we’ll be seeing lenses like these appear in the near future. Nevertheless, it offers an interesting insight into the way the tech giant is thinking and an idea of some of the products we might be seeing within the next few years.
The details of the patent, first discovered by 9to5Google, explain how a smart contact lens could be used to warn a blind person that they were approaching a road or intersection. The system could also be used to detect faces and would be able to link wirelessly with a smartphone app, the associated documentation says.
If these Glass-style contact lenses do ever make it to market, Google will have to convince users that they are worth the discomfort and field a whole new flurry of questions about privacy – taking photos with a contact lens is going to make the process less noticeable than ever. “It’s still early days for this technology, but we’ve completed multiple clinical research studies which are helping to refine our prototype,” said Google in an earlier blog post announcing its smart contact lens.