Always at the forefront of technological advancement — arguably — Google has just recently applied for patents for a set of smart contact lenses, which would allow anyone wearing them to utilize a built-in micro-camera and control it with the blink of an eye.
Google detailed the systems that would allow these multi-sensor contact lenses to work last month in an application published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, Patent Bolt reported. But a wave of new applications shows that the company is serious about looking into the new invention. “This goes into the theory of Google’s experimental technologies,” Roger Kay, a tech analyst and president of Endpoint Technologies, told Fox News. “A lot of these are just demonstrations that Google is alert and live and creatively thinking of things.”
If the ideas come into fruition, the lenses, which would be no thicker than normal lenses, will process both still and moving image data, as well as light, colors, patters of colors, objects, faces, motion, and much more. They would be controlled by the movement of the user’s eyelids and read by multiple sensors reacting to changes in pressure, conductivity, temperature, and electrical fields. Essentially, a user would be able to control the lenses by blinking, and then perform functions based on the data on the contacts on a mobile device.
Though spy agencies would love to have the contacts in their arsenal of gadgets, Google sees a more useful approach. The contacts would help blind people get around more efficiently. In one image from the applications, Google illustrates how a blind person might use the contacts almost like artificial eyes. As they approach an intersection, the micro-camera would process how close the person is and whether cars are moving through it. If there are cars, the lenses would relay the information to the person’s mobile device, which would generate a warning. In addition to this feature, the lenses would also recognize faces.
The contacts will most likely be used by anyone who can get their hands on them, but the new applications show that Google is also focused on improving public health through technology. Google Glass can already help people eat healthier, keep track of workouts, and take medications correctly. But a more recent development in the Google tech sphere were another set of smart contact lenses capable of reading blood glucose levels in a person’s tears. While that too is still in early stages of development, the prospect that those who are visually impaired or diabetic may one day have a better handle of their condition is still pretty hopeful.