Who needs glasses when you can wear contact lenses. Google Glass is the often-heard about new sci-fi technology support gadget on the block. You can use it as a Siri-like device. Wear the glasses and tell it what web page to go to and even go as far as performing face recognition on nearby pedestrians. Lately, we have been hearing of folks walking into bars and other places with their Google Glass all propped up on their noses. As you can imagine, others were leary of their intentions, asking them to move along and stop looking at them.
Fast forward now to smart contact lenses. Microsoft was actually the first, in 2011, to think of this project, but Google ultimately pursued it and is now looking to commercialize it. Contrary to the Google Glass, Google’s smart contact lenses has a much worthier cause. It is computer-infused contact lenses which will help diabetics monitor blood-sugar levels.
What does this mean with those who have diabetes? No more finger-pricing to conduct blood sugar tests. All they need to do is wear the smart contact lenses.
How does it work? There are sensors in the contact lenses that are thinner than human hair. These sensors will measure the glucose levels in tears using a tiny wireless chip. Google is deciding on what actions will help in alerting diabetics that their blood sugar is too high or low. One leading alert would be to integrate tiny LED lights in the lenses which would light up as an alert. That is certainly an effective alert albeit one that could scare off friends and family. I’d recommend having the lenses integrate with a Google watch or smartphone that would signal an alert sound instead.
Will it work? Scientists say it is difficult collecting tears for testing. So it’s unclear how effective these lenses will be for measuring glucose levels from body fluid. What happens if you currently wear contact lenses? Hopefully, you’ll be able to integrate your prescribed lenses with the smart lenses, but no word has been mentioned about this.
When can you get your hands on it? Google is now trying to find partners to bring the smart lenses to market, but will need to pass rigorous FDA tests first.
I think this is an amazing step in the right direction for Google. Google Glass is a technology service that worries many in that it may be to powerful if in the wrong hands. The smart contact lenses is a very positive way to help others with technology. This is what technology is all about. Making life easier where possible with information systems support.