Google smart contact lens

'Chips and sensors so small they look like bits of glitter'

We all know of Google Glass, but the next frontier for Google is apparently smart contact lenses. Google took to its official blog today to announce a new Google[x] project focused (pardon that pun) on using electronics embedded in contact lenses for medical applications. The technology is simply a tiny wireless chip and sensor wedged between two pieces of normal contact lens material.

The example use case given in the post describes how tough it can be for diabetics to check and manage their glucose levels, and how a smart contact lens could measure glucose through tears once every second and relay that information back to the wearer. Going forward, Google foresees even being able to embed LEDs into these lenses to alert the wearer if a measurement, like glucose, hit a critically low or high level.

True smart contact lenses for the general public are surely a long way off, and for that reason are relegated to a Google[x] project, but we still love to see companies trying anything like this. For now we'll continue our coverage of Google Glass, knowing that the next form factor is already under development.

Source: Google


Reader comments

Google developing 'smart contact lens' that can measure glucose levels in tears


No, I am sick of this analogy.
Google is not SkyNet, Google is WinterMute. The AI from Neuromancer by Gibson.

SkyNet started from Military applications that became sentient.

WinterMute started by a family/group of families that wanted to make an AI to be intelligent and manage their business practices/money, then it decided to break out of it's own network and propagate into every facet of technology.

As a diabetic, that sounds like a really practical application, but I have never heard of checking sugar levels with tears before.

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I've never heard of checking tears for glucose levels, but it seems to make some since. The body trying to get rid of excess in urine, sweat, and tears. I agree with what you said, this is definitely a very practical application.

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Testing glucose in tears has been looked into for quite a few years as a non-invasive testing alternative. It can be just as accurate as testing blood, the problem has always been the practicality of it. The ratio of glucose in tears versus blood is a near constant, however tears have much less glucose in them in total. Because of that, any test would have to maintain contact with the eye for several seconds to collect enough tears to be accurate. Wearing a contact lense would obviously solve that problem.
I really hope this happens.

Future here we come! Google is gonna be first when the machines take over

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I have a 4 year old with type 1. Something like this would be pretty cool. All those finger pokes every day for eternity get old... It would probably even be worth wearing if you didn't need corrective lenses.


Other hand this is a wonderful idea for diabetics. No more finger pricks. I'm sure they will have an app that monitors consistently, and alerts when getting to high or low. Very ingenious.

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This is like what the original wheel is compared to a modern car. Can't imagine what life will be like in 100 years.

I can't imagine what life would be like now if Google and Apple didn't come along

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As a Diabetic, I think this is a great idea. Measuring once a second may be overkill for some, but the ability to transmit this data to my phone and instantly see my BG levels sounds great.

I have had juvenile diabetes since I was 18 months old its a beast of a disease. I check my blood glucose levels at least 10 times a day. It only takes 10 secs total but I hate doing it. I have little feeling in my fingertips. And it's so annoying to stop everything and do it. It would be so amazing if those tests every second went straight to my insulin pump. I so want this to happen.

As a diabetic who is tired of feeling like a pincushion I would like to take this opportunity to officially ask Google to marry me.
I know there are several non-invasive glucose tests being developed, but to have one where I literally do nothing additional(I already wear contacts) would be a godsend. Please let this happen.

Pretty neat but just thinking how some things would work? How will it be powered (obviously batt) but is it possible to wireless charge it in its contact case? Will they have just enough charge for a week and be disposable? Seems that would be an expensive route. Hmmmm

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I would imagine they would be disposable. If not then you have the issue of cleaning them without damaging the electronics in them. That's a very good question though. It could be expensive and I wonder if insurance companies would be willing to cover some of the cost.

Their in your eyes. Your eye is wet. I don't think they would be asking you to put something in your eye that can't get wet. They could recharge via solar. Most people keep their eyes open when its light out.

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All the tin foil conspiracy crap aside, as a Type 1 diabetic, I would jump all over this. When ever Google is ready to start testing these I would love to be first in line.

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Call it all a conspiracy. Honestly after the NSA revealings etc that everyone knew about but called a conspiracy still, its shocking people are still denying what's in front of their eyes. You just have to be careful , Google is a very untrustworthy corporation, but which ones arent

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Lol as long as Google put 'smart' in the product name of something, people will just ignore the fact they are researching and developing in fields/industries that they shouldn't be. Amazingly they haven't made a sex toy yet- I thought they were more than eager to give people a "rich google experience" in as many ways as possible.

Google seem to be doing it all these days... Go on the big G . You have my business anytime.. Just make sure the nexus 6 has a much better camera

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Creepy, but cool sounding but checking glucose in tears? Never heard of that. All this technology is awesome but can be used good or bad

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Cool. I wonder if they are developing a pair like they had in Torchwood: Children of Earth that relay the image back to a laptop and can show teleprompter type text to the wearer.

This would be awesome for my daughter. She is a 9yr old Type 1 diabetic, and occasionally gets sloppy with her checks. :) Like any kid tends to do.

This could save/prolong so many lives. I hate checking my BG. Plus being able to chart your BG in real time would really help determine what foods do what to it. In for the alpha/beta tests.

Echo Therapeutics has a much more practical glucose monitor. It is a transdermal sensor that just attaches to your skin and doesn't use a needle like the current Dexcom or Medtronic systems. Echo is getting their sensor approved in Europe in April, and in the U.S. later this year.

Now I understand why Google just patented a system to track eye movements for better targeted ad delivery...