Though the one-day commercial sale of Google Glass yesterday can be deemed a success—it appears the white version sold out and Google is considering continuing the sale—that tech might already be deemed obsolete. Now, it’ll have a few more years in the sun, but on Tuesday TechCrunch reported that Google has already applied for a patent on their next big thing—contact lens cameras.
Patent Bolt says that the cameras would operate based on a system that is synched up to a user’s blinking pattern. The report says that a camera small enough to be embedded in a contact lens without affecting the thickness of the lens or obstructing the view of the wearer will also be able to detect colors, patterns, faces, objects, motion and more. And based on the patent filed by Google, there could even be more than one camera involved.
Google has also foreseen a benefit for the blind in these smart contacts. It has noted a scenario in which a blind person is approaching a busy intersection. Through an analysis component, the image data would be processed and could determine if a car is near the intersection. Further analysis of multiple images could determine if the vehicle is approaching or is stationary near the intersection. With this information, the processing component could be synced to an Android phone which would offer an audible warning to the user.
The contacts would also feature Google Glass’s facial recognition features, which would allow law enforcement officers to identify people they are questioning. It could also be beneficial to the blind as well in identifying those around them.
Other uses could be adding a zoom function that would allow the eyes to “naturally zoom” in on far away locations without the use of binoculars.
If these are the audiences Google is really targeting, they’re also going to have to develop a brand new system for smartphones. As of yet, I don’t believe they have a smartphone that is user-friendly for blind users.