Despite the buzz at CES about smart contacts that work in concert with glasses to project images, Google now announces that it is expanding from Glass into a broader approach to smart lens capabilities — with contacts.
Except this isn’t for taking pictures and accessing the anytime web like Glass. It’s more of a wearable sensor approach to glucose management for diabetes patients. Pretty fantastic.
We’re now testing a smart contact lens that’s built to measure glucose levels in tears using a tiny wireless chip and miniaturized glucose sensor that are embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material. We’re testing prototypes that can generate a reading once per second. We’re also investigating the potential for this to serve as an early warning for the wearer, so we’re exploring integrating tiny LED lights that could light up to indicate that glucose levels have crossed above or below certain thresholds. It’s still early days for this technology, but we’ve completed multiple clinical research studies which are helping to refine our prototype. We hope this could someday lead to a new way for people with diabetes to manage their disease.