Smart Contact Lenses – Who’s Got Their Eyes on the Prize?
Before you ask, the above image is no downed UFO or the architectural blueprint for a new city designed by Jacques Fresco. What it is, is debatable. If you ask Samsung, they will tell you it is a smart contact lens, if you ask Google they will tell you it is a smart contact lens. Both applied for patent in 2014.
So, from this information we can tell it is definitely a smart contact lens.
Originally plugged as being able to measure glucose levels in the blood, now, currently able to take pictures and, as of the last 24 hours, able to record with the blink of an eye, according to Sony that is. Sony were awarded a patent in April 2016 that describes a contact lens that can be controlled by the user’s deliberate blinks or via smartphone, recording video on request.
Dr Emmet Brown speaks:
“Sensors embedded in the lens are able to detect the difference between voluntary and involuntary blinks. The image capture and storage technology would all be embedded in the lens around the iris, and piezoelectric sensors would convert the movements of the eye into energy to power the lens.”
The jury is definitely out on who owns what when it comes to these new devices. But, the company most likely to hit the ground running is a “start-up” named Innovega.
Now, for a start-up Innovega have a website that it straight out of the mid 90’s whilst also having a crack team on their line-up:
Ex Top Gun instructor and ophthalmic specialist Dr. S Schallhorn whose history involves mission enhancing surgery to active duty personnel.
An Ex Vice President and Director of Corporate business Development of Intel Corporation Mr Avram C. Miller
Mr Shane S Kim Ex Corporate Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at Interactive Entertainment Business (IEB) of Microsoft Corporation
To name a few, though all involved seem highly specialised in their respective fields.
Although it seems all new and exciting, four years ago the company were waiting to receive FDA approval for a prototype from the Department of Defence.
Now, to acquire approval of a device means it has already been cleared by the FDA so it would seem they were just waiting on a thumbs up on safety and effectiveness.
Samsung just took another leap further into science fiction. South Korea has just granted the tech giant a patent for contact lenses with a display that can project images straight into the user’s eye. Of course, at this point, the technology probably isn’t small enough to be comfortably embedded in a contact lens, so this could all be theoretical.
One thing is sure though, it looks like smart contacts are well and truly heading our way and they took the fast train.