Friday, January 17, 2014

Google unveils smart contact lenses

If you thought motion tracking wearables were all the rage right now, just you wait to see what Google is working on: smart contact lenses.

No need to enter in overdrive mode (yet), as these have nothing to do with a "Google Glass on a contact lens" that can overlap a digital image over the real world and make computer and smartphone screens irrelevant - yet. These are a lot more modest for now, but their usefulness will still be appreciated.

According to Google:
We’re now testing a smart contact lens that’s built to measure glucose levels in tears using a tiny wireless chip and miniaturized glucose sensor that are embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material. We’re testing prototypes that can generate a reading once per second. We’re also investigating the potential for this to serve as an early warning for the wearer, so we’re exploring integrating tiny LED lights that could light up to indicate that glucose levels have crossed above or below certain thresholds. It’s still early days for this technology, but we’ve completed multiple clinical research studies which are helping to refine our prototype. We hope this could someday lead to a new way for people with diabetes to manage their disease.

It would be an amazing achievement, and one can't stop wondering just how much things will be able to evolve once they begin mass producing this kind technology. Just consider how smartphones and tablets did in half a decade, and extrapolate to what you could do with contact lenses embedded wearable tech.

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