Google Teams With Swiss Drug Maker To Make Smart Contact Lenses A Reality

Google’s mysterious “X” division was reportedly experimenting with contact lenses that have built-in technology to detect glucose levels in the wearer’s tears earlier this year, and the company has now teamed up with drugmaker Novartis to make the lenses a reality.

According to Reuters, the smart contacts will have two purposes, actually; one is measuring glucose, and the other is a solution to a condition called presbyopia wherein the eye losing its ability to focus. The lenses could possibly correct that inability to focus.

Google contact lenses

Such a product could be be available in as little as five years, according to Novartis CEO Joe Jimenez, and once the technology matures, there could be all manner of sensors and chips embedded in contact lenses, including those that would enable doctors to remotely monitor patients.

Adding the ability to measure glucose via wearables is projected to be a huge market over the next few years, and Google isn’t the only big company actively developing related solutions--Apple, Samsung, and others are working on them, too.