Google is rapidly developing new wearable technologies. Google's first attempt at wearable technology, Google Glass, has attracted a lot of press attention, but is still not available on the mass market. They also cost $1,500. Google's next foray into wearable technology maybe less flashy and less expensive, but may have a greater assistive technology impact.
Google's smart contact will sit on the eye like conventional contacts, but do much more. Google's initial idea is to measure blood sugar in tears for diabetics with electronics integrated into the contact. Instead of drawing blood to monitor blood sugar Google's smart contact would analyze blood sugar within tears. This system would eliminate or reduce painful finger pricks and also allow for more frequent testing. A small LED light inside the contact would then illuminate different colors depending on the blood sugar reading.
While this technology is still in development the idea is very exciting. If smart contacts could benefit diabetics maybe Google can adapt them to benefit people with other disabilities or conditions. Could a contact detect sound and give a visual notification to a deaf user? Imagine this, a smart contact for the deaf senses volume of sound and direction and notifies the user. A loud sound off towards a user's right side would illuminate the right LED very brightly while a soft sound off towards a user's left would dimly illuminate the left LED. While Google has only confirmed smart contacts are in testing for blood sugar testing it is exciting to think about the possibilities five or ten years down the line. Hopefully smart contacts for blood sugar monitoring will reach the market sooner than later and will assist people with diabetes.
Click read more to view a short video about Google smart contacts.