Google Glass hasn’t even been officially released for consumers yet, but the search giant is already thinking about bringing its technology to contact lenses.
A new patent application details how Google could add sensors and a microcamera to the surface of a contact lens.
The wearer would be able to control the lens by blinking, according to the application, which was unearthed by Patent Bolt.
Judging by Patent Bolt’s description, the functionality seems to be a bit similar to that of Google Glass.
Since the camera would be located on your eyeball, it would be able to align images with wherever you’re looking to avoid obstructing your vision, the website explains.
The smart contact lenses could potentially help the visually impaired as well, since the lenses would be able to see what’s happening in front of the wearer. For example, if a visually impaired person is walking toward a crowded intersection, the smart lenses could theoretically send an alert to that person’s smartphone as a warning.
Here’s a diagram from Patent Bolt that shows where the sensors would be placed:
The possibility of embedding camera sensors seamlessly into contact lenses is sure to generate even more controversy surrounding wearable tech. Several bars in San Francisco have already banned patrons from wearing Google Glass due to privacy concerns.
Implementing camera sensors directly into contact lenses would make it even easier to discreetly snap photos without anyone noticing.
There’s no telling whether this technology will ever actually make it to market, but the patent application proves that Google is at least experimenting with ways to bring computing components to contact lenses.
Earlier this year Google publicly announced that it is working on contact lenses that would be able to measure glucose levels through tears to help diagnose diabetes. Google also holds a few other patents that describe how it could embed sensors into contact lenses.
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