JACK OF ALL TRADES Google has announced a patent for a contact lens designed to monitor blood sugar levels for diabetics.
The tiny device, which could make a dramatic difference to the lives of diabetics, monitors the levels of glucose in the wearer's tears, though actual crying is optional, and transmits the information to the wearer's smartphone.
In a post on the Google blog, the founders of the project explained that they developed the technology in response to the growing diabetes problem, citing the statistic that one in nineteen people now has the condition.
The technology, consisting of a tiny blood sugar monitor and chip between two wafer thin pieces of glass, has an antenna the width of a human hair. Wearing the lens is said to be akin to having a bit of glitter in the eye, to onlookers, and is comfortable for the wearer.
However, the company does not plan to keep this one for itself, as the blog post explained, "We're in discussions with the FDA, but there's still a lot more work to do to turn this technology into a system that people can use. We're not going to do this alone; we plan to look for partners who are experts in bringing products like this to market."
One of the enhancements that the inventors hope to incorporate is tiny LEDs that would silently alert the wearer to a potential need to act to control their blood sugar. So remember, next time someone is talking to you and their eyes light up, it might not be that they're falling in love with you, they might be hypoglycemic. µ