In January, Google surprised the tech industry by revealing what was reportedly the world's smallest wireless glucose sensor ever made in a pair of smart contact lens. Now, new rumors suggest that there may be image-capturing capability, as well.
The tech giant filed a patent for a series of micro-cameras to be integrated into their future smart contact lens, according to new reports by Patent Bolt.
A so-called "image capture component," or simply just a camera, would process the image data to detect light, colors faces, motion and any other other information that could be calculated through one or more images. It may even include more than one camera, notes Patent Bolt.
According to a report by Patent Bolt, the contact lens may also include a mechanism that will determine blinking of an eye via multiple sensors on or within the contact lens. Not only that, these sensors may even be able to generate a command to a remote device, using blinking as a stimulus. Google notes that power supply may be done through sensors in a variety of different ways including a photodiode, a pressure sensor, or a micromechanical switch, the website reports.
The rumored patents for a camera-equipped contact lens does not necessarily mean that such a device will be developed for market. It is worth noting that only a small percentage of products patented actually make it to market.
According to The Associated Press, Google's prototype of contact lenses for diabetics -- who must keep a close watch on their blood sugar -- would take almost five years before reaching consumers. The device must undergo testing to make certain that it will provide accurate and timely information.
Potential pitfalls may include figuring out how to correlate glucose levels in tears, when compared with blood. As with any other medical device on the market today, it would need to be tested, safe and at least as good as -- or better -- than other types of glucose monitors available now to win approval from the Food and Drug Administration.The contact lenses were developed in the highly secretive Google X lab that also came up with a driverless car, Google's Internet-connected glasses and Project Loon, a network of large balloons designed to beam the Internet to unconnected places.