Samsung Electronics has just patented a technology for creating smart contact lenses with a built-in camera. The built-in camera and the sensors in the contact lenses will be controlled by blinking. There will also be an embedded antenna to transfer captured images to your smartphone or any device that can receive data from those contact lenses.
For many years Google has been working on Google Glass – glasses with all sorts of smartphone-type embedded technologies that you can wear over your eyes. The gadgets haven’t caught up yet with general public’s attention but Samsung is going a step further and instead of providing high-tech on eyeglasses, it is providing it on contact lenses. Google too has been working on creating smart contact lenses but Samsung had filed for a patent back in 2014 so they have been working on it for quite some time now.
Although your brain is the perfect instrument for capturing memories and images all around you, you cannot share these images with any other person. The contact lenses with built-in camera perhaps will be able to achieve that for you. The places you go to, the events you witness, the conversations you have, you will be able to capture everything using the built-in camera inside your contact lenses.
Through the technology, according to this SamMobile the report, Samsung Electronics has been working on smart contact lenses with built-in camera to create a better augmented reality experience than the ones that currently exist in Google Glass-like wearables. With the smart contact lenses, the augmented reality will be projected right into a person’s eye and be more invisible at the same time.
While Samsung is interested in building contact lenses with built-in camera, Google already owns 2 patents for smart contact lenses with flexible electronics and sensors to analyse chemicals in the tears of the wearer’s eyes to know whether the blood sugar level is falling dangerously low.
What would be the benefits of using contact lenses with built-in camera?
- You can capture photographs and images without anybody noticing
- You can do hands-free photography
- You can take photographs in the hub of the activity
- Someday the lenses will be able to transmit the images of the built-in camera into the brain
I think the last point is very important. Just imagine, if there is a visually impaired person using the contact lenses with built-in camera; the camera can somehow bypass the retina and send the visual data to the part of the brain that is responsible for processing visual data.
How will you be taking photographs and images with the contact lens built-in camera? Samsung has trademarked the term “Gear Blink”. Every time you use your contact lens built-in camera, you will be blinking your eyelids perhaps. Like, wink wink. This can be a bit awkward. Just imagine you are sitting in front of someone and you want to take photographs and you suddenly start blinking abnormally. On 2nd thought, you will only be blinking abnormally if you take lots of photographs. A couple of winks here and there aren’t quite noticeable.
I hope people don’t start receiving WhatsApp messages on their contact lenses while they are driving.