While Google and Samsung have already filed patents for high-tech contact lenses with built-in cameras, Sony isn’t too far behind, with its newly-conceived smart contact lenses that use specially-designed cameras to record, play as well as store videos before the wearer’s eyes. The Japanese multinational company has recently submitted a patent application for the invention.
According to the developers, the contraption relies on an incredibly innovative technology, which can in turn distinguish between a deliberate blink and a natural one. Like Samsung’s contact lenses, its various operations are controlled by blinking. As explained in the patent application submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office:
It is known that a time period of usual blinking is usually 0.2 seconds to 0.4 seconds, and therefore it can be said that, in the case where the time period of blinking exceeds 0.5 seconds, the blinking is conscious blinking.
Sony’s smart contact lenses differ from Samsung’s, in that it features an advanced internal storage technology. Unlike the latter, which sends all recorded videos to an external storage device like a smartphone, the former allows the user to store footage in the lenses themselves, for easy and instant retrieval of recorded videos.
In order to do that, the smart lenses, according to the company, will be equipped with miniature piezoelectric sensors that are capable of discerning changes in pressure, temperature, acceleration and force. The sensors will in turn convert these changes into an electric charge, which will then be used to turn the recording on in response to the wearer’s eye movements.
As the developers point out, the contraption will be powered via a highly-specialized process, known as electromagnetic induction. In it, a conductor is pushed through a powerful magnetic field, so as to generate electrical current. Furthermore, the technology can autofocus to eliminate blurry vision, as well as correct any kind of tilt of the user’s eyes. Speaking about the invention, Rhodi Lee of Tech Times said:
Sony’s patent likewise describes a display showing additional controls that can be activated by a ’tilt sensor’. The lens may even feature aperture control, autofocus, and image stabilisation to address the blur caused by the eyeball’s motion.
At present, the technology is still only a concept, and will probably take several years to be developed. To read Sony’s patent application, head over to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s website.