Google makes software for smartphones. The company’s developing a wearable device called Google Glass. And now Google is going even smaller, with smart contact lenses.
The lenses aren’t just a smaller version of an all-around wearable device like Glass. Instead, they’re designed to help people with diabetes monitor glucose levels throughout the day.
At this point Google’s smart contact lenses are still in the testing phases, but the technology could make life much easier for people who currently have to prick their fingers for blood tests multiple times a day.
Here’s the idea: Google has outfitted wearable contact lenses with tiny electronics including a glucose sensor, antenna, and a minuscule computer chip. The system monitors your tears and takes glucose readings once per second, providing a way to track glucose levels constantly.
The current prototype sends signals to an external device, but eventually Google could add LEDs to the contact lenses so that you can see a change in status instantly.
Google isn’t the first company to dabble in the smart contact lens space, and it’s not yet clear if a real product will come out of this. But it’s a sign that Google doesn’t just think big… sometimes the company things very, very small — like chips that can fit into contact lenses.
And who knows? Maybe one day contacts will do more than monitor your vital stats. Maybe Google Glass 16.0 will be small enough to fit on your eyeball.