Google Contact Lens
Google Smart Contact Lenses
Jan 17 2014
Brian Otis and Babak Parviz
University of Washington
The project is the latest invention to emerge from the company‘s Google X unit, which works on long-term, risky new technology that may never become commercially successful but has the potential to change the way people live in drastic ways. The unit has already produced self-driving cars and connected eyewear called Google Glass.
Google said it went public with the contact lens project at an early stage because it is looking for expert partners who could bring the technology to market in the future.
Diabetes sufferers sometimes do not check their glucose levels as often as they should because those checks are usually disruptive or painful, such as pricking a finger to do a blood test. Researchers have been looking for less intrusive ways to check glucose, through sweat, saliva, urine or tears.
To make the contact lens, Google had to design its own tiny chips and mount them on very thin, flexible, plastic-like film. The chip and a sensor are embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material. A tiny pinhole in the lens lets tear fluid from the surface of the eye to seep into the glucose sensor. The prototypes can take a glucose level reading once every second, Google said.
Google said it has done „multiple studies“ to test the comfort and functionality of the lens and explore how tear glucose correlates with blood glucose, particularly in people with diabetes. Google has also been in talks with the Drug and Food Administration about the possible future application of this innovative technology.