It won't be long now before the camera function of a smartphone will start to become obsolete. Contact lenses are going to be the new cameras for both photos and videos. Blind and partially-sighted people are also going to benefit from these inventions.
Leading technology companies are queuing up to obtain patents on smart contact lenses. Samsung, Sony and Google have all applied for patents to build photo and video cameras into contact lenses.
The patent applications filed by Sony and Samsung are very similar. Both manufacturers are claiming a camera in a contact lens that can be operated by blinking. The cameras are able to make a distinction between intentional and unintentional blinking. It goes without saying that the photos and video recordings can be wirelessly sent to a smartphone, for instance. Sony's camera has advanced options such as a zoom, autofocus and image stabilisation.
Google has also applied for patents for similar micro camera systems in contact lenses. The extra application that Google provides is one that helps blind people avoid obstacles. The cameras are fitted with image recognition of faces, colours, movements or specific items, for instance. Google's invention combines elements of earlier new applications for contact lenses, such as measuring glucose levels in tears.