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Google may be developing smart contact lenses powered by the sun

Lissandra Melo / Shutterstock
The eyewear of the future may look like the contact lenses of today, but don’t be fooled — if Google has its way, nothing in the world of contact lenses will ever be the same again. In a new patent filed on October 13, the Internet giant turned purveyor of all things cool unveiled its plan for a “contact lens employing optical signals for power and/or communication.”

The futuristic device will be solar-powered, as it will purportedly sport a “photo-detector that harvests light received and generates power from the harvested light,” and will do far more than just let you see — it’ll open up a whole new world.

As per the filed patent, Google hopes that its new solar-powered lens would allow the wearer to access information about his or her surrounding environment, including the presence of allergens, “hazardous materials,” or other atmospheric particles that may have a deleterious effect on your health. Moreover, your contact lenses could actually be connected to your mobile device (if those are still around by the time this comes to fruition), and communicate data about your body temperature or blood-alcohol level.

And of course, no futuristic contact lens would be complete without a built-in scanner of some sort, so rest assured, Google’s idea would include the ability to detect and collect data from a number of different objects, including but not limited to price tags.

Google, who has recently launched a number of health-related initiatives, including a contact that would monitor glucose levels, is no stranger to cutting edge at-home technology, but this latest endeavor still seems quite a ways away. As Quartz points out, solar panels small enough to fit on a contact lens have yet to be implemented in any capacity, and there certainly doesn’t seem to be much buzz around the project just yet.

But who knows — maybe the future isn’t in robots, but in robotizing ourselves.

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