google introduces smart contact lens project
image courtesy google
google has begun testing on an intelligent contact lens that’s built to help control diabetes – a disease affecting one in every 19 people on the planet – by measuring glucose levels with mini embedded electronics. developed by brian otis and babak parviz, the project uses a tiny wireless chip and miniaturized glucose sensor embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material. as glucose levels change frequently with normal activity like exercising or eating or even sweating, the concept aims to continuously monitor body fluids such as tears instead of blood drops, which require users to prick themselves for samples throughout the day. the sensors and chips will measure approximately the same size as bits of glitter, and the antenna thinner than a human hair.
‘we’re testing prototypes that can generate a reading once per second,’ explain otis and parviz. ‘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. it’s still early days for this technology, but we’ve completed multiple clinical research studies which are helping to refine our prototype. we hope this could someday lead to a new way for people with diabetes to manage their disease.’ according to google, the concept is currently in discussions with the FDA.
the google ‘smart contact lens’ is a INDEX: design award 2015 finalist.
INDEX: design to improve life was created by denmark in 2002, with values and principles focusing on humanism, social understanding and democratic thinking. the nonprofit organization promotes the application of design and processes that improve vital areas of people’s lives worldwide by inspiring, educating and engaging.