We’re still a bit of ways away from our Terminator-like future where our eyes can feed us information about anything and everything, but we’re about to take a step forward thanks to Novartis. They’ve announced that they are contracting Google’s smart contact lenses technology currently being worked on by the Google X team, though these aren’t being readied for your everyday consumer.
Novartis says they have interest in the technology to address two key issues in healthcare:
- Helping diabetic patients manage their disease by providing a continuous, minimally invasive measurement of the body’s glucose levels via a “smart contact lens” which is designed to measure tear fluid in the eye and connects wirelessly with a mobile device;
- For people living with presbyopia who can no longer read without glasses, the “smart lens” has the potential to provide accommodative vision correction to help restore the eye’s natural autofocus on near objects in the form of an accommodative contact lens or intraocular lens as part of the refractive cataract treatment.
Those are very specific use-cases that won’t apply to a healthy helping of people. It’s telling that Novartis is so confident in Google’s miniaturization of electronics that they want to make a strong push at this point in time. It doesn’t automatically confirm that the technology has reached a level of maturity fit for consumer-ready products, but it does mean they’re getting quite close.
So no, you won’t have the equivalent of Google Glass embedded into your eyes anytime soon, but this can only help move us toward a future where smart contact lenses are less taboo and more fitting for everyday life. We’re definitely keeping our eyes peeled (pun totally intended) for what happens next.
[via Business Wire]