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Camera contact lens could 'navigate' for the sight-impaired

April 21, 2014
by Richard R. Rogoski
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Just three months after Google announced the development of a contact lens with a built-in glucose monitor for those living with diabetes, the company has filed a patent for a contact lens with a miniaturized camera.

The new lens would contain one or more image-capture cameras, a processing component and a sensor. Connections between components could be made using wires or via a wireless system. According to PatentBolt, the new lens would be controlled through a “sophisticated system using the owner's unique blinking patterns."

The lens has the potential to help those with sight impariments, Google notes. "[A] blind person wearing Google's contact lens with a built-in camera may be walking on a sidewalk and approaching an intersection. The analysis component of the contact lens can process the raw image data of the camera to determine processed image data indicating that the blind person is approaching (an) intersection with a crosswalk and establish that there is a car approaching the intersection."

This data could then be sent to the user's smartphone which would "provide a voice generated warning that the crosswalk isn't safe to cross."

Google also noted that the image capture capability of this new lens would be able to detect "faces" through a face recognition system, which would further help someone who is blind.