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January 17, 2014 by Sarah Hazelwood
Google has reaffirmed its position as a leader of wearable tech by revealing a new smart contact lens for diabetics.
The Google X team has developed a lens, which can measure your glucose levels through the collection of tears, using miniaturised electronics in the form of chips, sensors and an antenna that’s as thin as a strand of hair.
Brian Otis and Babak Parvis are the co-founders of the project and recently confirmed the news on Google’s official blog. The post read: “We’re now testing a smart contact lens that’s built to measure glucose levels in tears using a tiny wireless chip and miniaturised glucose sensor that are embedded in between two layers of soft contact lens material.
“We’re testing prototypes that can generate a reading once per second.”
Google revealed that it’s also working to embed tiny LED lights into the lens, which would light up to notify users of low or high blood sugar levels, alerting them to take action.
In fact the possibilities of Google’s smart lens appear endless, and the company is now looking for partners to help bring the product to the mass market. The blog post continued: “Those partners will use our technology for a smart contact lens and develop apps that would make the measurements available to the wearer and their doctor.”
A number of clinical research studies have already been completed, although there’s still a long way to go before the product will be made available worldwide.
Otis and Parviz wrote: “We’ve always said that we’d seek out projects that seem a bit speculative or strange. At a time when the International Diabetes Federation is declaring the world is ‘losing the battle’ against diabetes, we thought this project was worth a shot.”
This isn’t the first time these lenses have made the headlines, with other companies including Microsoft previously showing interest in similar products. However, this time round with Google’s reach, it looks as though this technology could be available sooner than expected.
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