Sony has filed a patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for contact lenses with some pretty impressive capabilities. The Sony smart contact lenses are designed to not only take photos but also record video and even play it back for users. The contact lenses will also include a storage medium inside of the lenses that allow for videos and photos to be stored in the contact lenses instead of requiring an outside storage device.
Tech Story reports that Sony has filed a new patent for what looks like some pretty impressive smart contact lenses. The lenses are reportedly designed for capturing both images and video with the blink of an eye. The technology outlined in the patent claims that the smart lenses will be able to distinguish between normal blinking of the eyes and voluntary activation movements by users.
The contact lenses will be activated when a user closes his eyes for an unspecified amount of time. Other user-activation methods include gently pressing a specified area of the eyelid with the eye closed for a predetermined period of time. The smart contact lenses would then activate for video recording and image capturing. Once the images and video are captured, the data would be stored in an internal storage medium.
“The contact lens according to claim 1, further comprising: a recording control unit configured to perform control in a manner that a captured image captured by the image pickup unit is recorded in a storage medium.”
This internal storage mechanism, according to Tech Story, is what makes the Sony patent stand out from Samsung’s smart contacts patent. Unlike the patent filed by Samsung with the Korean Patent Office, the Sony smart contact lenses are slated to store video and photo content to a storage medium in the lenses. The Samsung smart contact lenses require captured images to be sent to a smartphone or other similar device. The need for an external storage device makes the Samsung patent slightly less desirable than the Sony patent with internal storage capabilities.
Wow – smart contact lenses! The list of potential good (and bad) things these could be used for… https://t.co/Rraksgvhsg
— Kerry Butters (@kesbutters) April 29, 2016
For those wanting to transfer the contact lens data to external storage, it appears that the Sony lenses will also have that capability.
“The contact lens according to claim 2, further comprising: a transmission unit configured to transmit the captured image recorded in the storage medium to an external device.”
According to the Daily Mail, the contact lenses will be activated and deactivated with a simple voluntary blink of the eye. The user will be able to switch between on/off and camera/video by blinking the eye for a certain period of time.
“To play video, users could use a predetermined movement of the eyelids, different from the blink required to activate or deactivate other functions.”
If a contact lens capable of recording a video isn’t crazy enough, the Sony patent also includes the ability for the lens to playback pre-recorded videos. The lenses will use an electroluminescence display screen to replay the videos for the wearer. Are you an excessive blinker worried that your video will have a lot of “blank” screens? Sony has you covered. The patent for the smart lenses claims that the product will delete all of the black frames from the video for you as it can detect your blink rate prior to filming and even adjust the tilt of the video depending on how you are holding your head at the time of recording.
Get Ready for Smart Contact Lenses That Record and Play Videos https://t.co/0DecoJ0Q8P
— Social Media Week (@socialmediaweek) April 27, 2016
Google has also revealed that it is working on smart contact lenses that will allow users to monitor things like glucose levels and blood-alcohol content.
What do you think about these “smart” contact lenses being patented by Samsung, Sony, and Google?
[Image via Shutterstock]