Google Files Patent For Injectable Smart Lens With Storage, Battery And Energy Harvesting Antenna


It's probably inevitable that we'll one day be a race of hybrid humans, a cyborg-like collection of skin and bones supplemented with a growing number of electronic and mechanical devices. Perhaps the road to such a destination starts with injecting an electronic lens into your eyeball, something Google is trying to patent.

Though it might sound like science fiction, it's not—Google's patent application describes in squeamish detail the process of swapping out the natural lens in a human's eye with an electronic implant. And there's more than one way to go about it. Optometrists could opt to use a "sharpened edge, a surgical laser, or some other means" to cut through one more membranes surrounding the lens.

Google Eyeball Drawing Patent

Once the natural lens has been cut and removed (through suction), the process involves injecting fluid into the eye's natural lens capsule. Google's fancy intra-ocular device would be positioned within the fluid, which would then solidify to form a coupling between the lens capsule and the electronic device.

Google's vision (excuse the pun) for such a surgery is to restore poor eyesight and reverse the effects of congenital and/or degenerative eye disease, but that's only the tip of the iceberg. This is complex piece of electronics that Google is talking about, one that could evolve to offer some truly sci-fi level stuff.

Google Eye Injection Patent

Even as currently outlined, it's pretty high tech. There's a integrated energy harvesting antenna that would keep the battery charged by tapping into and pulling juice from wireless power transmissions (wireless charging, in other words). There's also data storage and various other components inside the implant.

The mind runs wild with future possibilities, especially considering Google's history in the tech sector. Google's filed patent applications in the past for smart contact lenses, ones that would help people with diabetes detect glucose levels and another that would provide various fitness tracking, as well as read barcodes.

Take it a step further and imagine being able to zoom in on a distant object or store data about different locations. Shrinking Google Glass down into an injectable electronic device brings up some interesting use-case scenarios.

Of course, we're getting way ahead of ourselves here. At present, this is just a patent, not all of which come to fruition.