The Google Contact Lens was a project announced back in January this year under the product family of Google X. Bringing the future one step closer to us by putting technology literally right in front of our eyes, Google may soon be able to release the smart contact lens on the market.
The company has recently signed a contract and became partners with healthcare giant Novartis, the parent company of Alcon, which are known for the production of the most-widely used contact lenses and eyewear products on the market. Novartis will make sure that the new smart Google Contact Lens will reach a worldwide audience in as little of time as possible.
The project itself is quite revolutionary and is bringing us one step closer to futuristic technology that fits right into our eyes. The smart contact lens is created by Brian Otis and Babak Parviz, who found that one of the best way to track the glucose levels easier via our bodily fluids is through our tears. The smart contact lens will use a glucose sensor to track the glucose levels and a wireless chip, in order to send the information to other devices. The electronics are carefully placed outside of both the pupil and the iris, thus no damage to the eye will be caused.
The wireless antenna itself will be thinner than a human hair and will send constant updates to other devices, which via an app will be able to inform you about your glucose levels. The smart Google contact lens may have huge implications in healthcare by helping people with diabetes and other diseases easily track their glucose levels and inform them when they are below or above a certain threshold. To remove the need for an app, Google had plans to add an LED to the lens that is to light up, when the glucose levels are not in the norm, informing the wearer. However, the LEDs contain levels of the toxic metal arsenic, thus presenting a challenge to the project designers.
Currently prototypes are being tested and can generate a reading once per second. However, the performance of the lens in windy environments and teary eyes is still unknown.
Other innovative projects from the futuristic Google X product family include a self-driving car, the Google Glass eyewear, Project Loon, which provides internet service via balloons in the stratosphere, AI network for speech recognition and computer vision and a wide variety of other projects.
Do you think it will be just a few years until the smart Google contact lens becomes smarter than the Google Glass eyewear? Would you wear the smart Google contact lens?