Sony has filed a patent application for a smart contact lens with impressive technological features. The move appears to follow the lead of tech giants Google and Samsung.
Two years ago, Google unveiled a lens project that aims to help diabetics keep track of their glucose levels. Samsung made a similar patent application at the Korean Patent office three weeks ago for a contact lens with a tiny camera that can be controlled with the blink of the eyes.
With a similar interest in wearable technology, Sony has also filed a new patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for smart contact lenses with camera-like features.
The contact lenses can take photos and record videos as well as play back the captured footages for the user.
The patent, which has not yet been approved, describes the lens as capable of taking photos with just a blink of the eye. The lens can take images once it detects a conscious blinking of the user's eyes.
The eye wear will also include a storage medium where the videos and photos can be stored sans requiring an external storage device. This internal storage mechanism is what makes Sony's patent different from that of Samsung.
Samsung's contact lenses require that the captured images be sent to another device, such as a smartphone. Such process that entails storage of captured images on an external device makes it less desirable than Sony's patent that comes with internal storage capabilities.
Sony's patent likewise describes a display showing additional controls that can be activated by a "tilt sensor." The lens may even feature aperture control, autofocus and image stabilization to address the blur caused by the eyeball's motion.
"The contact lens according to each embodiment of the present disclosure has an image pickup function and performs predetermined image pickup control in accordance with blinking or the like of a user," Sony's patent application reads. "This makes it possible to make an intelligent contact lens, thereby remarkably improving usability."
It is interesting to note that the priority date of Sony's patent US20160097940 is May 2, 2013. This means that the company has already been working on the technology for quite some time.