After Google Glass, Google developing contact lens camera

The next step after Google Glass high-tech specs could be contact lenses with cameras in them to take pictures when you blink and to help the blind across the road.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Eye eye: High-tech contact lenses could be the next step for visual technology. Shutterstock

They say the opposite sex don't like specs, but that doesn't mean you have to ditch your Google Glass high-tech eyewear to look smart -- someday you may be able to just pop in a contact lens with a camera in it.

Google has a patent pending for a contact lens with a micro camera and sensors embedded on the surface controlled by blinking, which would enable you to take hands-free pictures and could help the blind navigate the everyday obstacles of the world.

Following Google Glass, the Big G is developing contact lenses with cameras built in. Google / Patent Bolt

Although still apparently hypothetical, the patent combines ideas from Google Glass smart glasses and Google's tear-scanning smart contact lenses. Highlighted by Patent Bolt, the smart-contact-lens patent posits sensors in the lens that can look for light, colours, faces, movement and even specific objects.

The lens could help vision-impaired people by, for example, spotting that the wearer is heading for a busy road and telling that person's smartphone to chirrup a warning -- and then inform the wearer when it's safe to cross.

The sensors sit under the pupil on the lens, so even though the lens would move with your eyeball as you look around you can still see.

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The patent was submitted in late 2012, but has been revealed just as Google Glass finally went on sale to the public -- for one day only.

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Other uses for contact lenses include Innovega's iOptik augmented reality lenses that interact with a pair of smartglasses to beam a head-up display right into your vision.