You blink, you take a picture. That's essentially the premise behind Google's technology for embedding microscopic cameras into contact lenses. Are we looking at the next Google Glass....sans the glasses? It might be so.
Google filed a patent for the tech that details how the wearer will be able to control the camera through a sophisticated system using the owner's unique blinking patterns.
The patent explains the image capture component thusly:
A thin (image capture) camera component can be embedded on or within a contact lens such that it does not substantially affect thickness of a conventional contact lens. Furthermore, the camera component can be aligned such that it tracks and generates image data of an image of a scene corresponding to the gaze of the wearer, without obstructing the wearer's view.
Google adds that each of the contact lenses could be designed to house several micro camera components and senor tech that could be specifically programmed to detect light, color, specific objects, faces and motion - all without obstructing the wearer's vision.
While the applications are potentially vast (think documentary filmmakers), Google is touting the technology's ability to aid the blind as the analysis components in the camera can process image data to let the wearer know when they are approaching a major road or large object. Google claims the lens would then be able to issue the wearer a voice command through a smartphone about the surrounding issues.
This kind of technology has been implemented before. Several years ago Canadian filmmaker Rob Spence put a micro camera in his fake eye as part of a project he called the Eyeborg Project. Spence partnered with a company called Rf-links.com to bring the project to life.
Referred to as the "one-eyed filmmaker," Spence brainstormed back in 2011 that a prosthetic eye with a video camera in it might be a cool way to make a film. His team designed a two-part prosthetic eye shell that could house the electronics, followed by what they claimed was the world's first wireless camera housed inside the prosthetic eye.
The general public now may soon be about to join Spence with the ability to walk around with cameras built-in to their eyes.