Imagine being able to play back a crystal clear video of the greatest moments of your life: your first kiss, that huge win at the casino, or the time Bill Murray approached you on the street, gave you a bear hug, and vanished into the night. In the near future, we may all be equipped with contact lenses that record video all day long. This isn’t far-flung science fiction. Sony, Google and Samsung are working on the wearable tech right now.
I Always Feel Like Somebody’s Watching Meeeeeee
Sony leads the pack right now. Their patent application explains how their proposed product would work, and the features on their contact lenses go way beyond seeing and snapping a photo.
According to the document, the lenses would record images while they’re “worn on an eyeball.” The data is recorded on their own storage units.
How do you press “record”? Turns out, it’s all in the wink. Sony’s patent explains, “in a case where predetermined eyelid closure of an eyelid that is in contact with the lens unit is detected, the recording control unit records the captured image captured by the image pickup unit in the storage medium.” That means the lenses know human blinking patterns and can understand whether you’re blinking out of necessity or blinking a bit longer to signal that you’d like to start recording.
Sony says users would only need to wear a smart contact lens in one eye. The application says the contact lenses could be hard or soft, depending on preference.
Some Things Can’t Be Unseen
Although it would be awesome for parents to record their kids’ Little League games without holding up a camcorder or for a new bride to record her wedding vows from her own point of view, other applications of the contact lenses may worry privacy advocates.
Gizbot’s Rohit Arora writes, “While this really sounds futuristic, at the same time we believe that Sony’s contact lenses can cause a breach of an individual’s privacy. The person would never know that someone with such sophisticated tech can record his/her activities with just a blink of an eye.”
Another tech writer brings up the annoyance that comes with a new communications medium. “If we start viewing the internet in our glasses and contacts, next generation advertising would come straight to our faces,” wrote William McKinney for Edgy Labs.
Those who are eager to try out the contact lenses will likely have to wait at least another a year or two, though. No release timing has been announced.