Tech Stripped: Dissecting Google’s Smart Contact lens

It’s been long since we have embarked onto our tech stripped segment, this time round we zoom into Google’s latest announcement.  A few hours ago Google announced its latest smart contact prototypes, and personally I think if they pull it off for commercial use, it will be a big breakthrough in the world of medical science. But hey, we are tech junkies here and would love to know what lies beneath that smart contact lens. I went around the ‘internets’ to scout for a clear shot of the smart contact lens and I got one as seen in the animated picture above.

Digging up more info about this new contacts, I discovered that Google managed to squeeze a glucose sensor, antenna, capacitor and chip between two contact lens layers, making a kind of electronics sandwich. Ok, now that’s very impressive.  Basically, your tears go through the a tiny hole on the eye side of the lens, which contains glucose, to reach the sensor.

It should be noted that the antenna integrated is thinner than a human hair and the chip circuitry around it is no larger than a piece of glitter, it’s obvious that won’t be even to feel its weight if lifted with your finger tip.

Duplex communication

Let’s go on the communication side of things. How will the contact lens throw signals around? According to Google the contact lens will broadcast its signals through radio frequencies (we assume ISM band frequencies) to an external monitoring device that a test subject carries with him or her. Since communication is two way (duplex), the device that powers the mechanics of the lenses will communicate back through the same radio frequencies.

In future versions of this product expect a light source in the lens, which could indicate to the user whether glucose levels are high, medium or low — what would be cool, is if the light indicator stays on when they close their eyes. One giant step forward from the Google X lab, a better living for humanity.