Google X has made a recent announcement in which they state a new way of viewing the world is coming soon. According to the ExtremeTech blog post Google has invented a new smart contact lens with an integrated camera. The camera itself is stated to be very tiny and would reside near the edge of the lens as to not impede vision. Due to the camera’s design, which compliments the contact lens, it would naturally follow the user’s gaze allowing for a wide variety of applications. As you can imagine some of these applications would include ; the foundation of a bionic system for the visually impaired, an early warning system, facial recognition, and even “superhuman” abilities such as infrared and telescopic vision.
The camera of the new smart contact lens would be a miniature CMOS device which would dwell just below the pupil, a control circuit, and a yet unknown method of wireless power retrieval. The imaging sensor itself would be transparent in order to absorb light and I would assume could be color matched to the user’s iris in order to remain subtle. Below you will be able to see a basic outline of how the smart lens is designed:
This latest invention from Google X comes in the form of a patent filed back in 2012 and was recently published by the US Patent Office. Earlier in January of 2014, Google also made an announcement that it had begun design plans for a similar smart lens for diabetics which would measure glucose levels from the tears produced by the end user. I’m confident that a wide variety of citizens are curious as to when this product will be available for purchase, however at this point in the development cycle a time line for real-world trials is yet to be established. Do not let this news discourage you, back in November of 2011 a contact lens with LED display had been trialed under laboratory conditions.
On a personal note I only have two questions:
1. When can I trail the product?
2. How far is Transhuman science off from developing a complete retinal replacement?