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Google wants to put an electronic lens in your eye

by Jacob Kleinman | May 7, 2016May 7, 2016 4:00 pm PST

First, there was Google Glass. Then there was the smart contact lens. Now, it looks like Google could be itching to put its technology inside your eye, at least according to this recently published patent.

The bizarre patent was originally filed in 2014. Andrew Conrad, who led Google’s Life Sciences team at the time, is credited as the inventor. He currently serves as CEO of Verily, a standalone company within the Alphabet empire like Google and Nest. The patent describes a method for injecting an electronic lens into your eye that’s capable of displaying information. This “intra-ocular device,” as Google calls it, would enter the eyeball as a fluid but can solidify to match the shape of its new surroundings.

The device’s main purpose is to improve or even restore vision, and the patent notes it could apply to both humans and animals. Specifically, it would focus external light from an object onto your retina. This would make it possible to see at various distances by manipulating the lens.

Google also describes some of the technology that could be included in the device. There’s a built-in power supply, a communication antenna, data storage and “bio-interactive components.” You would also need a controller, which could be a synced smartphone, tablet or computer.

We’re still not crazy about the idea of putting all that tech inside an eyeball, but for the vision-impaired it could be a huge breakthrough. This is just a patent, though, so there’s no guarantee the company will ever come out with a similar product.

USPTO PhoneArena Wikimedia

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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