Google Contact Lens is a smart contact lens project announced by Googleon 16 January 2014.
The project aims to assist people withdiabetes by constantly measuring the glucose levels in their tears. The project is being carried out by the life sciences division of Google X and it is currently being tested using prototypes.
The lens consists of a wireless chip and a miniaturized glucose sensor. A tiny pinhole in the lens allows for tear fluid to seep into the sensor to measure blood sugar levels. Both of the sensors are embedded between two soft layers of lens material. The electronics lie outside of both the pupil and the iris so there is no damage to the eye. There is a wireless antenna inside of the contact that is thinner than a human’s hair, which will act as a controller to communicate information to the wireless device. The antenna will gather, read, and analyze data. Power will be drawn from the device which will communicate data via the wireless technology RFID. Plans to add small LED lights that could warn the wearer by lighting up when the glucose levels have crossed above or below certain thresholds have been mentioned to be under consideration. Challenges presented by such a technology are that the LED lights contain the toxic metalarsenic. The performance of the contact lenses in windy environments and teary eyes is unknown.
The prototypes being tested can generate a reading once per second.