Science 4 min read

The Future of AR: Video Recording Contact Lenses

Skitterphoto / Pixabay

Skitterphoto / Pixabay

Google Glass represented a gateway for interacting with the IoT and AR technology, but its development has been stymied by many drawbacks to the system -not to mention it’s an obvious fashion faux pas.

A Smart Contact Lens Learns From its Mistakes

If you were counting on the Glass to be your visual link to the IoT, fear not. The idea hasn’t been scrapped. Google is still working out the kinks on the Glass, and, in a sci-fi twist, Sony has a patent for a contact lens that can record video.

Sony is departing from the concept of improving vision and providing an AR display. Instead, Sony gives users the ability to start recording their surroundings with a few deliberate blinks.

The data storage and image capture tech are in the iris of the lens, and there is even a generator that powers the device using the movements of the eye.

The lens isn’t practical just yet, but Sony is working on it.

The lens should be able to:

  • Zoom in and out readily.
  • Record video and data.
  • Take and store photographs.
  • Organic, electro-lumiscent display screen can be controlled by blinking.
  • Lens can also playback recorded material in-lens.

Google made a big splash when they announced Glass. Its failure emboldened other big companies to do better rather than ignore the inevitable need for a visual link with our Internet of Things.

Is This the Future of Wearables?

A smart contact lens has obvious potential. It gives us an AR heads-up display, allowing our favorite locations to take on new and exciting properties. Watch your favorite digital shorts as you walk the dog.

With Sony’s patent for video capture, we are much closer to a contact lens that could subtly record whatever its user sees.

With the Internet in our field of vision, relevant data is always on hand. The need for computers or mobile devices could vanish. We could even implant AI to assist the blind.

AR-enabled contacts would use video capture to record an area, allowing a hiker to share fantastical sights with their far-away family.

Smart glasses, goggles, or contacts would finally give users a practical entry into using AR regularly. Eventually, they may even change how we conceive of the IoT.

Visual wearables are promising. Once Sony and Google hash our their designs, we’ll be glad to test them out.

Google, for its part, has developed a contact lens with a sensor that can read blood sugar levels and measure heart rate.

Potential Drawbacks

There is no telling what kind of interface smart lenses will have, especially ones devoted to video capture.

If we start viewing the Internet in our glasses and contacts, next-generation advertising would come straight to our faces. As much as I hope that regulations would keep advertisements from entering personal visual feeds, legislation hindering companies’ ability to make money doesn’t have a great track record.

In short, we should expect Internet-style pop-ups.

Nobody explains the future better than Tom Cruise in Spielberg’s 2002 MINORITY REPORT:

Add a camera into a smart contact and companies will immediately use user data to construct targeted advertisements.

To dig deeper, what exact privacy concerns does this idea raise?

Relying on smart lenses could make us vulnerable. If these devices could be hacked, imagine the activities that could be interrupted (driving, orating, etc).

Also, the prospect of biometric identification makes identity theft even more terrifying. Luckily for us, hackers can’t attack something that’s not developed yet.

Read More: Look out! Google Glass is Back

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Comments (3)
Most Recent most recent
  1. ekong udeme January 28 at 3:39 pm GMT

    Hi there! What are the harmful side effects of the smart lens? Not just on the altered vision,but effects from the IR

    • Alexander De Ridder January 28 at 5:57 pm GMT

      I think common side effects will be very similar to other contact lenses.

    • Profile Image
      Hannah September 15 at 6:37 am GMT

      They already exist and can change people’s faces to another and its very hard to tell if you are wearing so very dangerous and wrong.

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