You can’t really be surprised by the number of new devices being launched in the upcoming couple of years, especially with everything going “smart” recently. We have seen smart rings, belts, and most recently lenses. There are some companies who have already patented different types of smart contact lenses, all having different uses. With the developments we have witnessed over the past couple of years our smartphones became more computer like replacing many activities you usually need a laptop for, your watches can now track your activities and even make calls. This makes the development of more “smart” devices less surprising, but we welcome all. So, what kind of smart contact lenses are being made, and by who?
It was first announced by Ocumetics, a company that is working on developing bionic lenses. The bionic lens would enhance one’s vision, allowing them to have better control to focus at different distances. The lens is not one you would wear and then take off whenever you want, it’s rather inserted into the eye during a procedure.
There are a couple of other companies that have patented and are developing smart contact lenses such as Google, Samsung, and Sony.
Google has announced their smart contact lens project back in 2014. The smart contact lens will be made to detect blood sugar levels for diabetics, thus eliminating the annoyance of using a needle every morning. The lens would be able to inform the wearer when blood sugar levels are very low.
Samsung filed for their patent for a smart contact lens also in 2014. The smart contact lens would be used for Augmented Reality. According to SamMobile, and based on the patent filed, the contact lens would be equipped with a display, a camera, an antenna, and sensors that differentiate between intentional and unintentional blinking. Apparently, the display in the lens would be used to project images and content right into the person’s eyes. The contact lenses would still need to rely on a smartphone for processing of the images.
Sony has also filed a patent for a contact lens that shoots video, the lens is turned on and off by blinking. The lenses would be able to shoot, store, and play their own videos, which would make them a stand alone device, unlike Samsung’s contact lenses. The camera installed in the contact lens includes features such as auto-focus and zoom.
These patents don’t mean that we can expect to see these smart contact lenses in the market in the upcoming couple of years. On the contrary, they might merely be prototypes that never see the light of day.