Light-Powered Contact Lenses

In a patent granted this month, Google shows off plans to build contact lenses that are powered by and communicate through light pulses. The patent, numbered 9158133, gives a peek on the role contact lenses can play in the future.

Google’s contact lenses will be light-powered. Using embedded cells that turn light into an electronic current, these contact lenses don’t need wired charging. They can use solar power or harvest energy from a beam of light. The patent does not mention batteries so these contacts have to constantly generate power.

In the patent, the ability to measure body heat and blood alcohol content are mentioned as possible new features for the Google lenses.

However, unlike the ones that measure blood sugar levels, these lenses can communicate with an external device. The patent proposes using pulses of light invisible to the human eye which another device can read. Through photodectors installed, they can receive data or special instructions, too.

This ability can play a key role in many fields. For example, if a display item has an embedded LED light pulsing a signal at a specific frequency, the contact lens can pick it up and forward this detection to a mobile device. This can mean targeted campaigns and even let makers know how long a person is staring at a specific thing.

Also, it can be a way to authenticate payments as a biometric. Instead of a fingerprint, it can scan eye topography and verify transactions in a blink.

Of course, a patent is only the beginning to a long process of making a product. However, it’s clear that Google believes that future hardware shouldn’t be confined to wraps around the wrist or the body. The eyeball might be an odd choice but Google has tried it before (remember Glass?) and maybe, the second time’s the charm.

Source: psfk.comAdded: 19 October 2015

Tags: electronics