Google Wants to Patent Contact Lenses That Can Snap Photos

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Today and today only, Google Glass is available to anyone 18 or over in the U.S. (OK, so supplies are limited and the price hasn't been marked down from $1,500, but still). As is the way with disruptive technologies, however, the time will inevitably come when we look back at Google Glass and think "how vintage."

That day may arrive sooner than expected: Google has filed a patent application for a micro camera component that could work in conjunction with the smart contact lens it's already developing for people with diabetes. (The chips and sensors in the lens are built to track the glucose levels in a person's tears.)

The patent takes one of Google Glass's central features – the ability to take photographs – and repurposes it for contact lens by embedding tiny cameras in the contacts themselves.

Related: Google's Next Crazy Project: Smart Contact Lenses

The camera lenses could potentially help orient the vision-impaired. Processed raw image data from a contact lens's camera could deduce that a wearer is approaching a busy intersection, for example, and send a voice generated warning via his or her smartphone.

Wearers would be able to snap pictures simply by blinking, CNET reports.

That sounds both crazy cool and crazy voyeuristic. Imagine all the privacy concerns.

We're not there yet, though. Remember, just because Google has applied for a patent, doesn't mean we'll ever actually see the product. We'll just have to wait -- and settle for Glass in the meantime.

Related: Would You Spend $1,500 on Google Glass?

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