Google has filed a patent for what sounds like a bionic eye.
A patent filed in 2014 and published Thursday describes a device that could correct vision without putting contacts in or wearing glasses everyday.
But to insert the device, a person must undergo what sounds like a rather intrusive procedure.
Here’s how it would work: After surgically removing a person’s lens from the lens capsule of his or her eye (ouch!), a fluid would be injected into the capsule. This fluid would act sort of like a glue, allowing whoever is conducting the procedure to attach an “intra-ocular device” to the lens capsule.
That fluid would solidify to create a “coupling” between the lens capsule and the device, creating an electronic contact lens. The electronic contact lens would correct the wearer’s vision.
A sensor in the device would sense when the wearer is trying to see something far away or up close and would let that person do so with complete visual clarity. Here’s how it’s outlined in the patent:
The electronic lens could be controlled to have a first optical power during a first period of time to provide images of far objects (e.g., objects more than approximately 20 centimeters away from the eye) in focus on the retina of the eye, and the electronic lens could be controlled to have a second optical power greater than the first optical power during a second period of time to provide images of near objects (e.g., objects approximately 9 centimeters away from the eye) in focus on the retina of the eye.
Google is essentially proposing an artificial contact lens that could improve vision and would only need to be inserted once.
This isn’t the first time the tech giant has shown interest in creating technology for people’s eyes. Google was awarded a patent for a smart contact lens that will run on solar power and can perform functions like measuring glucose levels.
But just because a patent exists, doesn’t mean we’ll be seeing an electronic contact lens anytime soon, if at all.