For over a year, there's been quite a buzz around smart contact lenses. Companies like Samsung, Sony, and Google have all taken out patents and according to the patent applications, the future of contact lenses gives us a lot to look forward to. The features range from life-changing, such as glucose monitoring for diabetics, to a bit more superfluous like scanning bar-codes. Either way, with the amount of money being spent on R&D, it’s just a question of when smart contacts will begin rolling out to the public. So, we’re rounding up some of the most exciting developments in the world of contact lenses.
Smart Contacts and Patents
Sony applied for a patent on contact lenses that would start recording a video after a deliberate blink is detected. The lenses would be powered by sensors that convert power from your eye movement and storage would be kept directly on the lens. This makes us question how thin and light they could be in-addition to what kind of backlash there may be for being able to record video so subtly.
Samsung holds a patent in Korea for smart contacts that can play a video directly into your eye, allowing for the possibility of augmented reality. The Samsung lenses would sync with your devices and store data there, increasing the possibility of a thin, comfortable lens.
Google holds a patent for solar-powered smart contact lenses. These future contact lenses would not only harvest light and turn it into power, but would also provide a variety of other health and technological benefits. For instance, they would monitor body temperature as well as glucose, allergen, and blood alcohol levels.
For the 422 million people worldwide who have diabetes, monitoring glucose automatically could save many lives and make diabetes much more manageable. The contact lens patent would also make shopping easier by scanning bar-codes and price tags while syncing with other devices.
There are a variety of other labs around the world that are working on methods of health monitoring through the use of smart contact lenses and eye implants. There are benefits to both solutions; smart contacts can be replaced as they wear out, but surgical implants don’t rely on the patient maintaining the lens and putting it in every day. There are already two smart lenses that monitor glaucoma available in Europe.
Of course, there is more research and development needed to make smart contacts comfortable, semi-transparent, and resilient to constant eye movements. It’s also essential that the lenses allow the eye to stay moist and breathe. This is no small task, as in order to rest comfortably in the eye, a contact lens must measure 100-200 micrometers thick while housing sensors, power supply, and transmitters that would share data with other devices.
Although the challenges may still be great, there are many medical benefits like disease monitoring and it’s much less controversial than taking photos and video with the blink of an eye. We can expect to see smart contacts roll out over the next decade and we’re excited to see what advancements are made.
Contact lenses are an extremely popular option to help correct vision. The $7.6 billion industry serves over 39 million Americans every year. However, the way we utilize contacts may be changing.
Right now, there are two main uses for contact lenses: corrective lenses and colored contact. Corrective lenses allow you to see clearly without utilizing glasses, while colored contacts “change” the color of your eye. In the future, contacts will have far more uses.
As science improves, technology is getting smarter and smarter. Within the near future, smart contact lenses could be monitoring your health through your eyes. Solar-powered lenses may be able to track your glucose, allergens, and blood alcohol levels.
These unique lenses can send digital data via WIFI to your doctor, so they can monitor your general well-being. These contacts would be thick enough to contain this technology, but thin enough to feel comfortable all day.
1 in every 12 men, and 1 in every 200 women are colorblind. There are various types of colorblindness that limit the spectrum people can see. Scientists have already created glasses to combat this disease, but that same relief could be coming to contact lenses.
Researchers at the University of Birmingham in the UK found that adding dye derived from rhodamine to contact lenses helps color blind people differentiate between certain colors. If cheap technology hits the market, it will provide colorblind people daily relief.
For people who suffer from glaucoma, eye drops are currently the most effective option. The drops have to be used multiple times a day. If a patient forgets, they can suffer dry eye and/or pain.
A new type of contact could periodically release medicine, removing the need for eye drops altogether. Scientists at Harvard have created dual-layered contact lenses that slowly release medicine into the eye. Furthermore, researchers at Washington State University have created 3D printed contact lenses that gradually deliver drugs. They use micro-needles that cause minimal damage and discomfort.
While we wait for this new technology, you can purchase colored contact lenses from https://lovelycontacts.com. We offer over 40 different contact lenses, so you can purchase contacts that meet your needs. While these lenses may not fix color blindness or release medicine, they will help you see every day.
When you don’t want to wear contacts, you can find a pair of glasses that fits your personality. Find discounted non-prescription contact lenses starting at $39!