Wednesday, July 16, 2014

How does Google Contact Lens Work?

A prototype Google Contact Lens as Glucose sensor [source]
The Google contact lens is coming to reality. Google and Novartis announced on Monday that they will work together to bring this new technology to the public. Google[x] of Google has developed this technology, unveiled at first in January, that is supposed to measure the levels of glucose in tear. If everything goes as planned, we will see prototype product for research and development reviews by 2015.

Cartoon showing lens components
The soft contact lens consists of a wireless chip and a miniaturized glucose sensor housed in between two layers of lens material. The lens also features a tiny antenna, capacitor, and controller. Data is relayed via wireless antenna that is thinner than human hair.The information gathered from the lens can move from the eye to a device such as a handheld monitor, where that data can be read and analysed.  

This is how the lens looks like.

There is a tiny pinhole in the lens. Tear fluid is seeped into the sensor which measures the glucose level. The electronics lie outside of both the pupil and the iris so there is no damage to the eye. The miniaturized sensor is powered by a wireless device which will communicate data via the wireless technology radio frequency identification (RFID). This wireless non-contact technology uses radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data. 

This method will be an easier, pain free, and non-invasive alternative to currently used methods that require prick fingers for droplets of blood. The new technology can give you reading every second. The developers of this technology are also planning to add small LED lights that could warn you when the glucose levels cross certain threshold level that are critically harmful.

Apps developed for this technology would make the measurements available to the wearer and their doctor.

Google will ensure that any data transferred from the lens cannot be manipulated. 

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