When Google announced Google Glass, it was met with its fair share of criticism. While one party was against it due to privacy concerns,the other received it with open arms as it brought us one step closer to Augmented Reality.
The spectacles haven’t even reached the market as a finished product yet, but it seems that the Mountain View Company have already started working on their next wearable. This time however, they have plans to develop something less controversial. According to a post on the official blog, they are working on a “Smart Contact Lens”.
Before everyone starts to freak out about this, they should know that the Smart Contact Lens are not for hobbyists looking to impress everyone with their tech, but rather they are designed for diabetic patients to continuously monitor their glucose levels. According to the blog post, the idea behind this lens is to help the patients
“Many people I’ve talked to say managing their diabetes is like having a part-time job. Glucose levels change frequently with normal activity like exercising or eating or even sweating. Sudden spikes or precipitous drops are dangerous and not uncommon, requiring round-the-clock monitoring. Although some people wear glucose monitors with a glucose sensor embedded under their skin, all people with diabetes must still prick their finger and test drops of blood throughout the day. It’s disruptive, and it’s painful. And, as a result, many people with diabetes check their blood glucose less often than they should.
Over the years, many scientists have investigated various body fluids—such as tears—in the hopes of finding an easier way for people to track their glucose levels. But as you can imagine, tears are hard to collect and study. At Google[x], we wondered if miniaturized electronics—think: chips and sensors so small they look like bits of glitter, and an antenna thinner than a human hair—might be a way to crack the mystery of tear glucose and measure it with greater accuracy.”
So the Smart Contact Lens will make life easier for the diabetic patients as the lens will use micro-electronic components to continuously measure the glucose level in tears and thus provide the patients with a way to monitor their condition without poking themselves with needles. Google also plans to integrate LED lights into the prototype to warn the user if their levels go beyond a certain threshold.
Keep in mind that this is still a prototype so you won’t be seeing this at your local hospital any time soon.
I feel that Google is making a step in the right direction with this. Afterall, you seldom get to see a company like Google thinking outside the box to design revolutionary new tech AND helping the society with it rather than just provide us with a fancy new toy. This is certainly another step in the right direction. Now lets just hope that we are not forced to share our glucose levels on Google+
What do you think about this? Let us know!