Saturday, 18 January 2014

Google’s smart contact lenses for diabetics: Another step towards the Google-powered cyborg

Google's smart contact lens, for detecting glucose levels (diabetes)Multi-pixel contact lens display (concept)Single pixel contact lens display, in a rabbit's eyeGoogle X, the secretive research lab famed for its work on Glass and Google’s self-driving cars, has unveiled its next product: Smart contact lenses. The first smart contact lens, aimed at diabetics, takes a glucose level reading every second from the tears that wash over your eye when you blink, and transmits that data wirelessly to a nearby device. Google doesn’t say what device, but presumably a smartphone or Google Glass. Yes, if Google X has its way, we will soon all look like cyborgs, our bodies becoming interconnected networks of implants and augmentations.
Currently, if you have diabetes, you generally have to perform finger-stick blood tests throughout the day. At best this is inconvenient, at worst it’s disruptive and painful — but either way, if you want to safely manage your blood sugar levels, it must be done. Due to the inconvenience factor, though, many diabetics don’t test themselves as often as they should — which then leads to all sorts of nasty situations, such as passing out. There are other ways of reliably testing blood sugar levels, such as your tears — but, as you can imagine, collecting tears is no easier than pricking your finger. Unless you have a smart contact lens…
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