As someone who is so averse to placing something in my eye that it takes me approximately 27 minutes to apply eye drops, I am very much in the glasses over contact lenses camp. Thankfully, my vision is pristine, but that is neither here nor there. A new patent from Samsung, however, could make me (and a whole host of other people, I’m sure) rethink placing something directly into the eye socket: a contact lens camera that allows people to literally snap photos at the blink of an eye.
Samsung’s smart contact lens would contain a tiny, built-in camera controlled through the natural human function of blinking, snapping a photo of whatever image the contact lens directly projects into a wearer’s vision. Within the application of the patent were specs of a contact lens currently in development. The prototype lens is shown outfitted with a camera, a tiny display, several sensors and an antenna. Based on these rough schematics, it appears the contact lens would work in tandem with an external device, like a tablet or smartphone, in order to process visual content.
This isn’t the first such patent for a contact lens with a built-in camera – Google filed one as far back as 2014, though very little has resulted from it as of yet. Samsung, for its part, believes a smart contact lens like the one they’ve just filed a patent for could provide far superior image quality than other eyewear smart devices like Google Glass. There’s also no doubt about how a contact lens that doubles as a camera is about as close to an awesome, 007-inspired spy gadget as one can get. Whether we’ll all soon find ourselves equipping our eyeballs with a contact lens camera remains to be seen, but Samsung is certainly set on redefining how it is we take pictures.