18 Jan 2014

Google Contact Lenses Are Now Official

WebProNews reported two years ago that Google contact lenses were likely on the way, after Glass was unveiled, and finding that one of the engineers had previously given a talk discussing such devices.

Now, Google has actually announced smart contact lenses. It’s not what you think though. It’s not the contact lens version of Google Glass. At least not yet.

Google’s contact lenses have to do with health – specifically keeping glucose levels under control for diabetics.

“Over the years, many scientists have investigated various body fluids—such as tears—in the hopes of finding an easier way for people to track their glucose levels,” write Brian Otis and Babak Parviz, the project’s co-founders (Parviz being the engineer mentioned above). “But as you can imagine, tears are hard to collect and study. At Google[x], we wondered if miniaturized electronics—think: chips and sensors so small they look like bits of glitter, and an antenna thinner than a human hair—might be a way to crack the mystery of tear glucose and measure it with greater accuracy.”

Google did not even bring up Google Glass in the announcement, but that’s not to say the technologies couldn’t merge in the future. Who’s to say they’re not already working on it? First of all, watch Parviz’s presentation. He’s clearly thinking bigger with contact lenses, and he outlines some pretty incredible possibilities, which could make these things (and Glass, for that matter) a great deal more useful. My favorite example is the “super vision” idea.

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