Straight off the bat I need you all to be aware of something…these are in no way like Google Glasses, sorry.
When I read about them I got really excited, the idea of a HUD and camera built into a contact lens was the coolest thing I had ever heard. However these devices are quite different. The lens houses circuitry and sensors designed to monitor glucose levels in your tears, making them the perfect early warning system for diabetics. Rather than having to regularly check your glucose levels by taking a quick blood test these contact lenses will be constantly analysing the moisture on your eye and feeding the information to a handheld device. I have a friend who is diabetic and something like this would be incredible in aiding her to keep it under control, to be able to see small changes almost instantly would reduce the need (theoretically) of ever needing emergency intervention.
This project has knock on effects for the smartphone industry too though. During the research leading up to this prototype they have obviously managed to come up with very ingenious ways to miniaturise this technology to fit it onto a contact lens. Imagine if we could do this to the internals of a smartphone. Maybe eventually there will be enough free space inside these damn things that we can have nice big, long-lasting batteries. One can dream…
This research was conducted by Google by Prof Brian Otis and Babak Parviz from the University of Washington Wireless Sensing Lab