Novartis Plans to Bring Google's Smart Contact Lenses to Market Soon


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Dec 30, 2010
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Google's smart contact lenses X Labs Project may come to fruition much sooner than expected. A company named Novartis has licensed the technology and plan to push forward to make it a reality.

The initial product push from Novartis is to create a medical device designed to help medical health issues. Here's a quote with the details,

Under the agreement, Google[x] and Alcon [a division of Novartis] will collaborate to develop a "smart lens" that has the potential to address ocular conditions. The smart lens technology involves non-invasive sensors, microchips and other miniaturized electronics which are embedded within contact lenses. Novartis' interest in this technology is currently focused in two areas:

  • Helping diabetic patients manage their disease by providing a continuous, minimally invasive measurement of the body's glucose levels via a "smart contact lens" which is designed to measure tear fluid in the eye and connects wirelessly with a mobile device;
  • For people living with presbyopia who can no longer read without glasses, the "smart lens" has the potential to provide accommodative vision correction to help restore the eye's natural autofocus on near objects in the form of an accommodative contact lens or intraocular lens as part of the refractive cataract treatment.
The agreement marries Google's expertise in miniaturized electronics, low power chip design and microfabrication with Alcon's expertise in physiology and visual performance of the eye, clinical development and evaluation, as well as commercialization of contact and intraocular lenses. Through the collaboration, Alcon seeks to accelerate product innovation based on Google's "smart lens" technology.

Sadly, this doesn't yet mean we will have a Halo-like HUD display on our retina's anytime soon, but at least it's a step in that direction, and more importantly, this technology can help address important health issues.

Source: Novartis