Google makes cool stuff. There's self-driving cars, that funky street view camera, and those experimental glasses anyone will be able to buy for one day only tomorrow, April 15th. Yet for every product that comes out, there's another in the pipeline that may or may not ever see the light of day. Last month we learned of a patent application for a pair of smart contact lenses that would process blinks as input for wearable devices. Now Patent Bolt has reported on a separate application for a micro camera component for those lenses.


The first thing that comes to mind here is the ability to take photos using just your eyes. If the thought of people wearing Glass in large numbers freaks you out, this would be even worse, as there wouldn't be an unsightly piece of hardware attached to frames that at least provide somewhat of a heads up.

Naturally, that possibility isn't the point. This micro camera could potentially benefit people's lives. A blind person wearing these contacts could receive an alert if there are obstacles in the way. It could prompt them when it's safe to cross a street or recognize faces and inform them, through an audio cue generated by a smartphone or some other device, who's there.

This camera would apparently have the power to replace binoculars, giving people the ability to see farther by focusing in on distant objects more clearly. In this way they could theoretically improve eyesight, not unlike traditional contact lenses.

The system could potentially support more than one camera, and there's also a sensor that could possibly detect temperature, pressure, or other variables.


Google applied for the original smart lenses patent in Q3 of 2012, and this one followed in Q4. If the product does become available somewhere down the road, don't expect it anytime soon. Who knows what form this may take when, or if, it ever comes to fruition. We'll just have to wait and see.

Source: Patent Bolt

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • http://www.LOVEanon.org/ Michael Oghia (Ogie)

    I see what you did there Bertel...

    • http://bertelking.com/ Bertel King, Jr.

      I just hope you didn't take a picture. Blink twice if you did.

      • Vinnie


  • frafri

    can't wait.

  • Sergii Pylypenko

    I highly doubt about binoculars - they require lenses with long focus, which you just cannot scale down, even with super-sensitive monochrome matrix.
    It will likely be like current phone cameras, making decent pictures in 0.5 - 3 meter range, but failing hard beyond that.

    • Matthew Fry

      Prepare for pixelated digital eye zoom!

    • John Smith

      stretch the eyelids and put more glass in there :-)

  • SuESanders

    Google applied for the original smart lenses patent in Q3 of 2012, and this one followed in Q4. If the product does become available somewhere down the road, don't expect it anytime soon. Who knows what form this may take when, or if, it ever comes to fruition. http://qr.net/stx3

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    Deus Ex incoming

  • http://blog.tonysarju.com/ Infowerx Social

    I'd love a HUD in my vision. Also the ability to say "Enhance" and have my optics zoom in.

  • h4rr4r

    The focal distance is too short, how would you get around that?

    • saratoga

      You can't get around that. Putting a sensor on a lens does not form an image, it has to go into the focal plane. The article is a little misleading, as this camera can sense light but not really form an image of the surroundings like people are probably assuming.

  • John Grabb

    This REALLY is scary. Especially since there is a good chance Google is more powerful than any government.

    • Googand Grok

      In the end, this concern is a day late and a dollar short. Considering all the ways we are currently tracked and monitored, our only hope is to overload and mislead...

      • John Grabb

        Wait until the day you are FORCED to wear them to make a living, Googand. It's never too late to stop these machines probably embedding in your body etc etc etc.

        • Googand Grok

          "to make a living".
          The crux of the matter, isn't it?
          No need to wait, John...it's here. Take heart, though. What they don't realize is that bureaucracies, even using quantum computing, can Never react fast enough to control billions of people.

          Reread original post.

  • Alphajoe

    I see another privacy related discussion coming. Or should I say an outrage?

    Watching how Glass is debated in Europe (and especially in Germany), I wished Google had decided to make the first prototype without a built in camera. Because that's basically everything which is paid attention to. I partly do see a valid argument about privacy, but it's ridiculous how some people over exaggerate the limited recording function. I personally do care way more about the display than the camera.

  • Jim Bunion

    Google has a plan. Eventually it wants to get into your brain. "When you think about something and don't really know much about it, you will automatically get information," Google CEO Larry Page said in Steven Levy's book, "In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works and Shapes Our Lives." "Eventually you'll have an implant, where if you think about a fact, it will just tell you the answer."
    Who wants Google in their head? Who volunteers for the Mark of the Beast?