Technology

Samsung patents smart contact lenses with a built-in camera


In the future, we could all be wearing smart contact lenses, like the ones secret agents use in movies.

Samsung has been granted a patent in South Korea for contact lenses with a display that projects images directly into wearer’s eyes, according to the Samsung-focused blog SamMobile. A built-in camera and sensors are controlled by blinking.

Google-smart-contact-lenses
Embedded antennas then beam content to an external smartphone-like device for processing.

According to SamMobile’s report, Samsung started developing smart contact lenses as a means to create a better augmented reality experience than the ones that exist through Google Glass-like wearables. Smart contact lenses would allow AR to be projected right into a person’s eyes and be more invisible at the same time.

The blinking input isn’t entirely out of the realm of possibility. There was a feature in Google Glass that let users take pictures with a wink. Although, a more sensible (and less awkward-looking) feature might be to use a smartphone as a touchpad to move around the interface.

Samsung’s not the only one interested in making smart contact lenses a reality.


Patent diagrams for Samsung’s smart contact lenses.
IMAGE: SAMSUNG/KOREA INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHT SERVICE (KIPRIS)
Google owns two patents for smart contact lenses with flexible electronics and sensors that read the chemicals in the tear fluid of the wearer’s eyes to determine if their blood sugar levels have fallen to fatal levels.

Interestingly enough, Samsung applied for its smart contacts patent in 2014, the same year Google received patents in the U.S. for its smart contacts.

Though Samsung’s been granted the patent, it’s not definitive proof that the company will release a consumer product off it. Companies frequently file patents for inventions they’re prototyping and developing that many never see the light of day.

But hey, everything starts with a dream, right?

By Raymond Wong


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