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Samsung patent shows 'smart' contact lenses with built-in display, camera and wireless charging

By midian182 ยท 7 replies
Apr 7, 2016
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  1. There are a few reasons usually put forward as to why Google Glass wasn’t a commercial success, such as the conspicuousness of the device on a wearer’s face, the narrow viewing angle, and the fact it didn’t have many functions. Now, a patent application by Samsung could fix all these issues while massively improving the wearable AR experience: ‘smart’ contact lenses.

    First spotted by SamMobile, the patent was originally filed in South Korea two years ago. It describes how the augmented reality lenses would feature a built-in camera, motion sensors, transmitter, and display unit.

    The device would be powered by a wireless connection to a wearer’s smartphone, with the user’s eye movements and blinks used to send commands to the paired device.

    The patent actually mentions Google Glass’ less than perfect viewing angles and image quality. It aims to fix these by embedding a minuscule OLED display between the contact lens layers.

    The blueprints say that some circuits will be visible in the contact lenses, but, as they’ll be placed around the edges, users won’t be able to see them when wearing a pair. It could also mean that anyone who uses them will look like some kind of cyborg.

    Coincidentally, the year Samsung filed the patent, 2014, was also the year that Google filed a patent application with the USPTO for embedding micro cameras into contact lenses. The search engine giant is also trialing smart contact lenses that analyze tear fluid to detect if a diabetic’s blood glucose levels have fallen dangerously low.

    As with every patent, there’s no guarantee that Samsung’s smart lenses will ever become a reality. The fact that there are conflicting reports over whether or not the patent has been granted doesn’t bode well, but that’s not to say the technology won’t arrive at some point in the next few years, either from Samsung or Google.

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  2. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,050   +1,384

    I hate it when people patent things they cant even remotely produce soon. Like people have patents on gravitational distortion and "time displacement" its getting out of hand...

    Sure samsung might be able to produce a prototype. but its probably unsafe to wear and not the slightest bit cost effective. All this does is discourage anyone from trying to push the field further.
    psycros likes this.
  3. The popular alternaive only invites a different pack of wolves to the table.
    jhill3d71 likes this.
  4. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,160   +1,413

    huh? People's eyes dart around very fast - it would look horrible to see that fast movement on video. In fact, good cameras have OIS to get rid of this problem. And Google, what's your obsession with thinking we need f'n camera's everywhere. Haven't you noticed, people only like cameras they can point at themselves.

    Yes, and not only might they not product it soon, they might have no intention of ever doing so. They might be filing patents just so they can sue anyone later who makes something similar. This is what Apple did when they started their patent race with Android and Samsung - they just patented everything they could think of. No working prototype, no plans to make one, just patent it all and let the lawyers sue.
    psycros and jhill3d71 like this.
  5. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,385   +3,775

    With the recent ruling by a Federal Judge (competence under review), the photographing or taping of the police arresting a subject is considered "interference" with the police doing their job and makes the person making the tape subject to arrest and prosecution. (mind you, one Federal judges ruling does not a law, make). So with this little invention, should it ever see the light of day (sorry, no pun intended) will the judge rule that even watching the police be considered a crime?

    I'm not sure the fault lies so much with these companies trying to patent everything, but with the patent office for not being more demanding and stringent in their rulings. Perhaps if they can bring back Einstein, he could teach those patent clerks a few things, eh?
    EClyde likes this.
  6. Given how things have changed since even 1970 to now with the blooming of the computer and then the internet, when I see stuff like this and the VR stuff I can't even begin to imagine what we might have in, say 2080, assuming as a species we are still here LOL
    Uncle Al likes this.
  7. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 893   +497

    I thought a large part of the failure of Google Glass was the privacy concern. As in, you could easily record what you are watching without anyone's knowledge. Whereas someone walking around holding up a smartphone is more clearly videoing or photographing someone.

    The move towards technology like Google Glass and embedded cameras requires us to accept that everyone and everything can be recorded at any time and uploaded to the internet. I'm thinking of schools and children but I'm sure there are other worrying scenarios where restrictions should still apply.

    At least it will get a lot easier to record movies at the cinema! Except for all the blinking.
    Uncle Al likes this.
  8. DAOWAce

    DAOWAce TS Booster Posts: 292   +42

    I'm up for the tech.

    I'm not up for EMF (radiation) being generated on my eye.

    Too bad it won't be around for many more years..

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