Google Glass is just the beginning of Google’s ambitions plans to dominate the wearable smart tech market. On Thursday, Google unveiled its plan to develop smart lenses to combat the rising menace of diabetes and announced its foray into the world of health with aplomb.
The lens, with its advanced sensors and transmitters, would quickly relay back the wearer’s glucose levels to adjust their insulin dosage. The lens will easily fit on the eyes and would act as a real-time tracker of the user’s sugar levels in his blood stream.
Although still at least 5 years away from a commercial launch, the viability and utility that the device will bring into life of a diabetic patient is immense. The smart lens would surely be beneficial to countless diabetic patients around the world whose dependability on insulin forces them to jab their fingers several times in a day to test for blood sugar levels.
With its ability to test the glucose levels from the tears of the wearer, the lenses would bring in a revolutionary change in the market. By 2015, the worldwide market for glucose monitoring device is expected to be more than $16 billion and Google would be aiming to dominate this very segment as well.
The sensors’ instant test results from the tears of the wearer will be particularly helpful in cases where patients are unable to keep a constant track of their sugar levels. The transmitter would also possibly be connected to another device which advises the wearer to adjust and administer the insulin dosage.
The reason cited by Google for such an early announcement is to search for potential partners in developing this difficult tech, which aims to make tests less intrusive. The lack of considerable amount of tears for testing, and the miniature nature of chips which need to be embedded in the lens, are some of the challenges Google is facing.
Brain Otis, Google X’s project leader for the smart contact lens, said that they are currently testing the lens containing two “twinkling glitter-specks” containing “tens of thousands of miniaturized transistors” connected to a hair-thin antenna.
Google also would have to develop tiny chips which can function on low power and couple it with highly efficient and powerful glucose sensors. Google X is a lab which is also pioneering its way to many exciting products like driver-less cars, Google Glass and Project Loon.
Otis added, “We’re still really early on. We’re confident about how the technology is going so far. But there’s a huge amount of work left to do.”
Also, apart from just technical part, Google has a task at hand to make the lenses comfortable and functionally accurate. It also plans to install LED lights inside the lenses to flash whenever glucose levels cross an acceptable level.
Nevertheless, Google unveiling its plans to enter the health segment with its smart lenses can be seen as the software giant’s increased focus on amalgamation of its core software expertise with reliable hardware. Such comprehensive and ambitious product being delivered would surely bring delight to the consumers and that Google started with plans to combat diabetes first has brought cheer to the medical community.
By Daris Abraham