Google isn’t kidding around when it comes to being a primary player in the eyewear game. We’ve seen Google Glass, now get ready for Google contact lenses.
The Daily Dot reports that the search engine giant has a new partnership with medical device company, Novartis, to start making special autofocus contact lenses. One of the most buzzed about aspects will be the contact lenses ability to monitor the levels of glucose in the wearer’s eye fluid and transmit that data to their mobile device. Something that is literally a life and death situation for the growing population with diabetes. The contact lenses autofocusing ability is also creating quite a lot of talk as most people over 40 eventually need corrective eyewear.
‟Most people, when they get to be about 40 and older, it becomes necessary for them to become readers. This is often the case for people who already have corrective lenses for other vision problems,” explained Novartis spokesperson Elizabeth Power. ‟There are people who have to wear contact lenses for other vision issues and they still have to use readers. When you get older, they often get presbyopia, which is when the muscles that support your eye…don’t contract properly. They need to contract in order to let you look at things that are closer or further away from you.”
The venture into contact lenses might seem a bit in left field for a search engine company, but it’s essentially right in step with Google’s other side projects. Google calls these extracurricular ventures “moon shots,” as they aren’t directly related to selling web ads. Part of the Google[x] project, the contact lenses will join Project Loon, Google Glass and the company’s self-driving car. To Google co-founder, Sergey Brin, it’s all part of the company’s goal to use technology to improve life quality. “Our dream is to use the latest technology in the miniaturization of electronics to help improve the quality of life for millions of people,” said Brin.
Novartis will handle the manufacturing duties of the contact lenses while Google will take care of all the brainy development stuff. The companies hope to have a prototype ready by next year and be ready to launch a commercial product within five years. Yes, Googly eyes is going to be a real thing.