Samsung’s next wearable could be a smart contact lens called Gear Blink

samsung smart contact lens news gear blink
Samsung has virtual reality covered with the Gear VR, but the Korean giant might have also plans to enter the world of augmented reality. However, based on a patent, it won’t be with a headset or even a pair of glasses. It could very well be a smart contact lens.

The patent, titled “Smart contact lens for augmented reality and methods of manufacturing and operating,” was filed in South Korea in 2014 and was published recently. It’s a contact lens that consists of a small display, camera, RF antenna, and sensors to detect eye movement. The lens would connect to a smartphone, presumably a Galaxy phone, and the user would control certain inputs by blinking.

Related Offer: Virtual reality just got real. See the Samsung Gear VR here

Augmented reality differs from virtual reality in that the user can see the displayed image and the real world at the same time. With virtual reality, the user is totally immersed into another world because all that is visible is the display in the headset.

While a headset is okay for virtual reality, Samsung thinks a smart lens is the way to go for augmented reality. The patent states the need for a smart contact lens because the image quality that is projected suffers when using glasses. In fact, the patent specifically mentions “Google Glass” by name when referring to current heads-up displays. Incidentally, Google is rumored  to be developing its own smart contact lens as well.

samsung-smart-contact-lens-patent-drawing-01

Samsung’s patent is mostly about the design of the lens, not what it can do. However, one example explained how blinking your eye would instruct the camera in the lens to take pictures. The patent never mentions receiving notifications from your phone, but we presume you would be able to.

As to what Samsung might call this smart lens, a Gear Blink trademark from 2014 might be our best clue. This trademark was filed in both South Korea and the U.S., and it was rumored to be associated with a Google Glass-type of product. However, a smart contact lens that detects eye blinking seems to make the most sense.

We do need to point out that just because a device is patented, it doesn’t mean that it will definitely come to market. It takes a lot of research and development to bring a product to market, and a company’s focus can turn on a dime. With that said, we won’t be surprised if Samsung does offer something like this in the future.

Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Mobile

C you soon? Rumors swirl of a USB-C port on 2019 iPhones

While it's not been long since the last iPhones launched, rumors for the next iPhone are already surfacing. Apple's 2019 flagship could include a variety of upgrades ranging from a new design to enhanced features.
Mobile

Samsung's advanced folding phone needed 'total reconfiguration' to make it real

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy Fold, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.
Mobile

Sony is showing something off at MWC -- will it be the Xperia XZ4?

Sony may have released the Xperia XZ3 in the past few months, but already it's preparing to release a follow-up, the Xperia XZ4. We're learning plenty about the phone now some details have started to leak out, and it's getting exciting.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best true wireless earbuds around.
Mobile

Do these Geekbench results accurately represent the Moto G7?

The Moto G6 range is still relatively new to the market, but rumors have already started about the Moto G7, which is expected some time in 2019. Apparently, a G7 Power version will be joining the G7, G7 Play, and G7 Plus.
Mobile

Is this the first image of a Galaxy S10 being used in real life?

It won't be long now; With 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.
Wearables

Omron HeartGuide brings blood pressure monitoring to your wrist

High blood pressure leads to heart attacks, strokes, and many other health problems, so it's important to keep an eye on. Omron's HeartGuide is a fitness tracking watch that can also monitor your blood pressure from your wrist.
Business

Google is buying mysterious smartwatch tech from The Fossil Group for $40 million

Google is about to step up its smartwatch game. The company has agreed to buy an unnamed smartwatch technology from The Fossil Group for a hefty $40 million. Considering the acquisition, it's clear Google is serious about smartwatches.
Mobile

Learn how to play YouTube in the background on iOS and Android

We show you how to play YouTube in the background with apps such as Opera, Chrome, and Firefox -- along with the premium offerings like YouTube Premium -- whether you have an Android or iOS device.
Mobile

Android vs. iOS: Which smartphone platform is the best?

If you’re trying to choose a new phone and you’re not sure about the merits and pitfalls of the leading smartphone operating systems, then come on in for a detailed breakdown as we pit Android vs. iOS in various categories.
Mobile

Verizon’s deal could get you a free iPhone XR — but there’s some fine print

Verizon launched a new deal for its smartphones aimed at encouraging customers to open a new line. If you're willing and you want two new phones, you could get a free Samsung Galaxy S9, iPhone XR, or Pixel 3.
Photography

From DIY to AAA, here's how to take a passport photo in 6 different ways

If you're applying for a passport or renewing one, you need to submit a photo in your official application. There are strict guidelines, but fortunately, it's something you can do at home. Here's how to take a passport photo.