Google has a new patent application with the USPTO (via 9to5Google), which takes one of the basic concepts of Glass and extends it even further, embedding tiny cameras that could be embedded in contact lenses for various uses, including photographing what a wearer sees, or providing the basic input for a contact-based assistive device for the visually impaired.
Google has previously detailed a plan to build smart contacts that measure blood glucose levels in diabetics to provide non-invasive, constant feedback to both a wearer and potentially their doctor, too. This new system describes uses that could also benefit the medical community, like using input from the camera to spot obstacles and alert a wearer who has vision problems as to their whereabouts. They could also offer up vision augmentation for people with all types of ocular health, and even act as a next-gen platform for a Glass-like computing experience.
Obviously, big tech companies patent stuff all the time, and only a fraction of that ever makes it to shipping products. Plus, wearing contacts is something that anyone who doesn’t have to likely won’t warm up to easily. Still, as an assistive device, and an alternative to other, more obvious gadgets and intrusive tech like hearing aids or cochlear implants, this could be a tech that has legs in the near future.