Google wearable contact lens patent gets federal green light

The U.S. patent office is giving its stamp of approval yet again to Google for a wearable contact lens device boasting microprocessor capability, electric circuit, memory and sensor technology.

The patent is just the latest the search giant now has in its wearables development toolkit and comes eight months after the agency granted Google a patent for a smart contact lens featuring a chip, electric circuit and sensor technology. As FierceMobileHealthcare noted at the time, that patent did not stipulate specifics on the lens' capabilities or its intended use. As of March Google had seven contact lens patents.

The new patent features "optical signals," according to the approved document, and describes the developing technology as an optical communication device featuring a photodetector that harvest light and generators that can be powered from that light. One sensor could track a wide number of biological features, from glucose levels to body temperature and blood alcohol content.

Data sharing between the lens and other computing devices is another design element.

"One or more components can reside within a process and/or thread of execution and a component can be localized on one computer and/or distributed between two or more computers," states the document, which notes components "can execute from various computer-readable storage media having various data structures stored thereon," and communicate with other computing systems and share data packets.

Interestingly, the patent notes contact lens users will have the option to opt-in and opt-out in sharing personal data via the lens, such as location and sensitive information. What's more, additional sensor capability could provide warnings to users regarding hazardous materials in the environment, as well as allergens.

In late March, Google filed a patent with the World Intellectual Property Organization for a wearable wristband designed to kill cancer cells, as reported by the Telegraph. In addition, at the end of this summer, the company announced it was partnering with DexCom to develop a disposable continuous glucose monitoring device smaller and cheaper than current monitoring options.

For more information:
- read the patent document

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