A step up from Google Glass.
Samsung has been quietly working on a “smart” contact lens, according to a patent application recently uncovered by Sammobile. The patent, which was filed in 2014 in South Korea, is for the manufacturing and operation of a “Smart Contact Lens for Augmented Reality.”
The design includes a display unit that projects images across your field of view. Since a contact lens is too small to include any type of processor, information will be sent and received from your smartphone via a built-in antenna. There is also a motion sensor to detect movements of your eyes, which according to SamMobile, will allow you to control the device by blinking.
Most importantly, the device will contain a thin film that acts as a lens-free camera! No doubt, this feature will stir up a whole new debate on privacy.
Diagram from the patent application by Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
In the patent application, Samsung says the smart contact lens will provide a more immersive augmented reality experience than smart glasses such as the Google Glass. By projecting images directly onto the eye, Samsung’s smart lens promises sharp images that could not possibly be achieved in a smart glass.
The patient was filed in September of 2014, a few months after Google X filed a patent for their own solar-powered contact lenses. We might see Google’s lens on the market sooner than Samsung’s — the internet mogul has already signed an agreement with Swiss drugmaker Novartis to produce the lens and the team expects to be ready for human testing later this year. Their incredible device promises to perform retinal scans, monitor glucose levels in diabetics, and even help the blind to ‘see.’
Samsung has also recently applied for a trademark on the name “Gear Blink” in both South Korea and the US. Sammobile speculates that this will be the name of the smart contact lens, a nod to the blinking method of controlling it.