It looks like we will totally forget about eyeglasses frames because of the techy eyeglass frames innovations we’re finding out.
Recently, tech giants like Google, Samsung and Sony presented to the public their VR (virtual reality) headsets Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR, and Sony PlayStation VR respectively. There is no doubt that virtual reality is finally here. Moreover, in a distant future, your eyes they aren’t only going to get dimensionally tricked but they will be able to put the camera lens right on your eyes.
The Battle of Patents
Or should we say the battle of concepts? The tech companies we’ve mentioned above are already prancing around the idea of smart contact lenses. They may have realized that it would be inconvenient if they put the controls on the eyeglasses frames, I mean do you even want smart eyeglasses Google Glass 2.0?
They’ve learned their lesson and now have come up with amazing ideas to create cooler and better smart contact lenses.
Samsung’s has a camera, motion detection sensors, antenna and a small display. This small display offers the user an augmented reality experience. This means the images from the display would be projected directly to the eye, Tech Times explains. Their smart contact lens is operated together with a smartphone for processing.
Google has a similar concept in mind when they filed a patent for contact lenses with a tiny camera. The difference is, according to Tech Times, “[it] can assist them (vision impaired individuals) in crossing roads and managing blockages in their path by sending signals to an accompanying smartphone that warns of pending problems” using eye movements such as “blinking and thinking.”
Sony also filed a patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for smart contact lenses with camera-like features. It is capable of taking photos by consciously blinking an eye. The wearable device can also record videos with play back functionality. The unique feature that sets it apart from Samsung and Google is it has its own internal storage medium. It has additional controls such as “tilt sensor”, aperture control, autofocus and image stabilization.
Assisting the Vision Impaired
Let us not forget the original use of contact lenses. Dictionary.com describes contact lenses as “a pair of small plastic disks that are held in place over the cornea by surface tension and correct vision defects inconspicuously.” Now, the medical community wants to make it more advanced and much, much smarter.
A University of Leeds researcher named Devesh Mistry is currently working with liquid crystal to produce an adjustable artificial lens aimed at helping restore long-sightedness in the elderly, also known as presbyopia, according to an article in University of Leeds website. Liquid crystal, which is the main composition of the lens, is found in the screens of smartphones and TVs. Mistry explains that the “lenses would adjust and focus automatically, depending on the eye muscles’ movement,” which a person with presbyopia cannot do.
Google taps into the field of medicine as well when they introduced two years ago a lens project that aims to keep track of glucose levels.
Bionic eyes are not a new concept. According to The Guardian, Rhian Lewis, a blind woman who suffered from retinitis pigmentosa regained her vision after being implanted with a “bionic eye.” This was through the help of Oxford’s John Radcliffe hospital.
The Threat on Privacy
However, skeptics are saying that these wearable devices could be a case of “invasion of privacy.” It is actually ripped off from a spy or sci-fi novel, and now, extensive research and development is put into it to make it a reality. Do we need to create a regulatory body in order to protect the safety and interest of the public?
But what we understand from these is selfies are destined to end in the imminent future. How are you going to take a selfie with a device like this? You will most likely do it in front of a mirror.
Don’t fret yet because these are still patents or concepts. At least, in the near future, we will never have trouble choosing the right eyeglasses frames.