Google X, Google’s secretive experimentation branch, has been known for some outlandish ideas, some of which eventually land as actual products. This time, however, the team has a more down to earth goal with its new smart contact lenses
that will hopefully provide a more effortless way to keep tabs on sugar levels.
Diabetics are in a constant struggle to maintain their glucose levels within a certain range but current methods available are not exactly encouraging. There are glucose sensors available that can be embedded under the skin, but the most common method involves drawing blood by pricking a finger and feeding the blood into a portable monitor.
Google is proposing a new kind of monitor, one that is tiny enough to be enclosed within contact lenses. Scientists hold that some body fluids, tears in particular, can also be used to monitor glucose levels. These tears will be analyzed by minuscule glucose sensors sitting in between two layers of soft contact lens material. Data, which is generated per second, is then transmitted via a very tiny wireless chip also sandwiched between the layers. Google is considering putting some LED lights to signal dangerous levels, but that might be the extent as far as in-eye display goes.
Unlike with Google Glass, Google is planning to take on partners for this endeavor, those who have more experience in putting out a product like this in the market. And it seems that Google is quite serious in this project. It is also in discussion with the FDA to make sure all their medical and legal bases are covered when they finally do launch this smart contact lens to the public.