Google has gone and done it with this most recent patent filing in March 2014 with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that puts out there the idea of a pair of Contact Lenses with Cameras built in. If Google Glass wasn’t creepy enough, Google has decided to up the ante with Contact Lenses that have Cameras built in, which they claim, is mainly geared at helping the visually impaired.
Albeit just a patent filing, it’s too much of a coincidence that the last story I did on Contact Lenses with embedded Electronics for Augmented Reality also came to light in November 2011, a year before Google Glass went live. Back then Dr. Babak Praviz of the University of Washington in Seattle published work in New Scientist about Contact Lenses with embedded electronics that allowed the transmission of live data to a test subject, in this case a Rabbit.
Back then I’d speculated of the coming of AR (Augmented Reality) Wearable computer that would see the coming of Air Gestures to control the smartphone, with these Contact Lenses connected via Bluetooth as prophesied in my article AR Contact Lenses tested successfully on Rabbits.
But it seemed back then I was short-sighted, pun not intended. Less than a year later in 2012, a Research Team at the Ghent University Centre of Microsystems Technology in Belgium led by Lead researcher Professor Herbert De Smet developed a new prototype of the same AR Contact Lens that can utilize the entire screen to display numbers, letters and graphics. It was in that year that Google Glass popped unto the Cultural Consciousness and all its associated problems of people spying on you and these intrepid Explorers being branded “Glass-holes”.
Suddenly, I realized that this developement not only just meant that AR (augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) was a possibility, but it would eventually mean that smartphone may eventually get smaller. With a Bluetooth connected Contact Lenses, there would be no need for a screen; your Contact Lenses would show you information from not just your smartphone but any devices that the Contact Lenses could establish a Bluetooth connection.
I thus have made a very serious prediction: in the coming future Augmented Reality Contact Lens development will shrink smartphones to Feature Phone size as concluded and prophesied in my article Augmented Reality Contact Lens development will shrink smartphones to Feature Phone size. It would also enable us to talk directly to machines i.e. computers, Laptops, etc without having to turn them on, instead using the Google Glass as the screen to display information. Not to mention helping to ease social anxiety by identifying people in a crowd.
Google also improving Google Glass – 2015 is the Year of the Google Glass Fashion Cyborg
Good to note here, yet again, that Google had also launched Google Glass and their cyborg-looking Explorers in 2012 as stated in Kelroy’s Geezam blog post“Project Glass” by Google – Augmented Reality Glasses for the masses.
So albeit Glasses are NOT Contact Lenses being researched around the world by scientists as alluded to at the start of this article, Google’s idea was pretty damn close. This latest development from Google, albeit just a patent filing, points to that very same future. Interestingly too, Google has been making steady progress with Google Glass that’ll result in mainstream acceptance of their glasses-with-Cameras among the masses.
They’ve initially partnered with Multi-national Optometrist and Google’s main Provider for Prescription Glasses to its staff in Mountain View, California, VSP Global in November 2013 to make their Google Glass prescription friendly via doing the following to promote Google Glass:
- Train optometrists to fit Google Glass for patients
- Developing prescription lenses that accommodate the wearable computer’s prism
- Making more fashionable frames for Glass
Later on in March 2014, in a post on their Google Glass Google Plus Page (Did I say that right?), the Google Glass Team announced that they’d partnered with Luxury brand Luxottica and its massive portfolio of High-brow eyeglasses to have them design prêt-a-porter frames with the intent of launching Google Glass to the masses by 2015. Luxottica designs frames for:
- Vogue Eyewear
- Oliver Peoples
- Alain Mikli
But my suspicion is that Google plans to sync their Google Glass with their Android Wear Smartwatches as described in Kelroy’s Geezam Blog article Google announces Android Wear, to create a device to replace the smartphone altogether by September 2014. This Samsung plans to launch Samsung Galaxy Glass paired with a Samsung Galaxy Gear at IFA 2014 in September 2014, which if it launches, may become the first Glasses smartphone.
So Google would do this, creating a product that would already be “ready to wear”, beat Samsung to the punch and hopefully match my alligator boots as does the US$249 Pebble Steel smartwatch as stated in US$249 Pebble Steel rocks James Bond Playboy joie de vivre on your Wrist by 2015 to compete against Samsung Galaxy Glass.
Facebook has similar ambitions with the recent purchase of VR Headset maker Oculus Rift as predicted in my article Pew Research posits 3 in 10 get their News via Facebook as Paper set to go live, but that won’t be until 2020, as they need to get these VR Goggles wearable in public as Glasses!
The Contact Lenses, however, would be a device for beyond 2015, possibly 2020, to replace when Americans have gotten used and tired of the fact that any pair of Glasses may really be Google Glasses in disguise. By then Google would be king of AR/VR as Google Contact Lenses with Cameras will be Next-Gen Google Glass Smartphone Replacement!
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