Google Secures Patent For Smart Contact Lenses Designed For Diabetics

By Jacques Slavoj, Parent Herald October 15, 02:32 am
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Eye technology takes a step forward through a new patent by Google.
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This now not-so-secret project by Google aims to help diabetic patients through its glucose-sensing smart contact lenses. Exactly what's smart about it, we'd still have to wait and see, as even after the 2014 announcement, it's still far from production for consumers.

The patent for what looks like an invasive procedure for contact lenses coupled with glucose monitoring code was secured by Google in 2014 and published recently in an article with the journal Advanced Materials, a high-impact resource for industrial applications of current technologies. The device under development is targeted for diabetic patients, with the wireless transmission of glucose level data as its primary feature.

This transmission works through RFID technology (see how with this HowStuffWorks guide), in which the data receptors from the controller will be thinner than human hair, according to CBC News. The transmission is then finished through nanotransfer printing enhanced by solvents, thereby optimizing the rate of data transmission, making the data on glucose visible and readable by both optical devices and electronic readers.

Wei-Chuan Shih, a researcher with the University of Houston, is among the first to generate interest on the project, in partnership with his UH colleague MD Masud Parvez Arnob and Korean researchers Jae Won Jeong, Kwang-Min Baek, Seung Yong Lee and Yeon Sik Jung from the Korean Institute of Science and Technology. According to the International Diabetes Foundation, one in ten of the world's population will have diabetes by 2035, a worrying prediction for the future.

With the procedure known as surface-enhanced Raman scattering spectroscopy, the researchers hope that this nanotechnological advancement may help bring about better control and less chances of complication with the worldwide fight against diabetes. First discovered in 1928 by the Indian physicist C.V. Raman, the scattering effect makes use of information about how light interacts with a material under scrutiny, in order to determine properties of the molecules that make up the said material.

In this case, Google's smart contact lenses currently being developed by Verily (its life sciences subsidiary) may take it to the next level by integrating with the tech giant's current know-how in terms of machine learning and artificial intelligence, which can both be enhanced by new discoveries in cloud-based quantum computing. Who knows, maybe live-stream organic memory and cloud-compute feelings are not too far off either, as this episode in the sci-fi TV series Black Mirror available at Netflix.

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