The latest Google experiment takes on the diabetes epidemic with smart contact lens, prototype that detects real-time glucose levels using tears and LED lights.
We’re now testing a smart contact lens that’s built to measure glucose levels in tears using a tiny wireless chip and miniaturized glucose sensor that are embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material. We’re testing prototypes that can generate a reading once per second. We’re also investigating the potential for this to serve as an early warning for the wearer, so we’re exploring integrating tiny LED lights that could light up to indicate that glucose levels have crossed above or below certain thresholds.
Obviously, the digitally infused lens will be capable of communicating with a smartphone or smart device using wireless signals and, or other electronics. At this time, the lens do not have FDA approval. Google has only released a small photo of their prototype, which looks and functions identically to the ones developed by Microsoft in this YouTube video from 2011.
The similarity is no accident. Google X’s smart lens project co-founder, Babak Parvis, can be seen in the Microsoft video above, where he once collaborated with Microsoft Research as a Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington.