Google's "Smart" Contact Lens Is a HUD For Diabetics

Google's "Smart" Contact Lens Is a HUD For Diabetics

google smart contact lens

The smart contact lens has a tiny sensor that can measure a user's glucose level, and alert them when it's low.

Anyone who's ever played any first-person shooter will be familiar with the concept of a heads-up display, or HUD. In games, they usually measure your health, armor, and ammo. However, in real-life, people don't (usually) carry ammo and armor, and "health" is kind of a broad thing to measure. Something that can be monitored, though, is a diabetic's glucose level. Thus, Google have just announced its "smart" contact lens project - a contact lens with tiny sensors to monitor glucose levels, and alert the user when they are low. It's a HUD for diabetics.

Google notes that tears are one of the best bodily fluids to check glucose levels with, but as it's kind of hard to cry on command, it's not really a practical way for most diabetics to use. The Google Smart contact goes right to the source, sitting on the eye, using a miniaturized glucose sensor embedded between two layers on the lens, to take glucose readings from the same eye fluid tears are made of.

According to Google, the sensor can take about one reading per second, and it is working on adding tiny LED lights to the lens to warn users when their glucose levels cross certain thresholds. I would like to imagine a big red "WARNING! Eat candy!" message would pop up when it got too low.

Google says it is now working with the FDA to turn these prototypes into real products, and with several other partners for distribution deals. These partners, the company says, "will use our technology for a smart contact lens and develop apps that would make the measurements available to the wearer and their doctor."

All that crazy stuff we used to dream about having in sci-fi movies is very slowly becoming a reality. I'm waiting for the day someone develops a facial recognition app for these lenses, so it can tell me people's names when I forget.

Source: Google Blog via Tech Crunch

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I don't care how much they cost, I want contact lenses that tell me when to "EAT CANDY."

The next google glass. I wonder how you'll control it in the near future.
"Google-i, bring up map".
"Google-Eye, bring up map".
"Googley, bring up map".
*Tap your eyeball*
*Focus so you're looking into the distance*

led light might not emit heat, but that doesnt mean that it doesnt have cooling issues.

the heat is emitted on the back of the diode, so this thing, while it may be too small to be able to cause burns, might cause sore eyes since the liquid that keeps your eyes "wet and shiny", evaporates faster.

and while the human brain does have a changing electrical field that can be used to power up these lenses, i doubt it will be enough to power these lenses.

plus we dont know if it will affect behavior.

too much that can go wrong. i just put it on the "flying car" desk, where most inventions that could be created, but might not be all that useful go

How the hell would you recharge the thing? Its not exactly USB friendly, and I wouldn't want to trust a wireless charging pad with them.

Unkillable Cat:
How the hell would you recharge the thing? Its not exactly USB friendly, and I wouldn't want to trust a wireless charging pad with them.

If the circuitry is low powered enough it could theoretically get just enough of a charge from the fluid on the surface of the eye, the salinity can create just enough movement of ions to make a very tiny charge.

J Tyran:

Unkillable Cat:
How the hell would you recharge the thing? Its not exactly USB friendly, and I wouldn't want to trust a wireless charging pad with them.

If the circuitry is low powered enough it could theoretically get just enough of a charge from the fluid on the surface of the eye, the salinity can create just enough movement of ions to make a very tiny charge.

Yeah, but those ions have got to migrate to and from electrodes, which will corrode.

If I was engineering this, I would investigate NFC technology, or something similar. NFC clearly can provide enough power to RFID chips at short range, so it seems plausible one day diabetics will hold their phone in front of their eye and receive a red or green blip depending on their sugar level.

I really want these. They should make like a daily day RPG HUD as well. One that checks your blood alcohol level when you're out drinking, something to check your bank account and tell you how much money you have, a way to receive messages and make notes, a way to measure the temperature of the place you are, siri [1], a mini map taken from Google earth, a netflix app for those long train rides and more stuff i din't know was missing in my life.

And (if it's not too creepy) something to track others like your ex,boss,someone you don't like so you know where to go to avoid him/her, your friends so you don't have to constantly call them and ask "where did you go" whenever you go to somewhere new or the guy who drives the ice cream van so you can get your frozen treats without sitting on the sidewalk waiting.

[1] even though you'll look like a nutjob going around talking to your eyeball and have it respond

Steven Bogos:
I'm waiting for the day someone develops a facial recognition app for these lenses, so it can tell me people's names when I forget.

You and me both, that would make my life so much easier.

OT: This might just make life a little easier for the diabetics out there. I have seen some of them being too careless and passing out due to too low blood sugar. Now if they could monitor fluid intake for those in risk of getting kidney stones I would really like to have one. 3 times is enough.

 

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