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What’s New: Smartphone-Connected Contact Lenses

Smartphone-connected contact lens

Yes, you read it correctly – you will soon be able to connect your smartphone to your contact lenses. Engineers at the University of Washington have developed inter-scatter communication – a method of communication that works by converting Bluetooth signals into Wi-Fi signals. This innovation creates Wi-Fi by using Bluetooth transmissions from nearby mobile devices such as your Apple Watch! Before the engineers at the University of Washington came along, sending data using Wi-Fi required too much power for something as small as a contact lens. However, they have designed contact lenses that are equipped with a tiny antenna that manipulates a Bluetooth signal, encodes data from the lens, and converts it into a Wi-Fi signal that can be read by another device.

Why is this brilliant? Well, it makes it possible to provide vital medical information to patients. Because we can monitor a person’s blood sugar levels through his/her tears, a connected contact lens could send notifications to a person’s phone when blood sugar levels have decreased. However, according to the engineers, these smartphone-connected lenses were designed to do more than just provide medical information. I guess we’ll just have to wait to see what else they can do. Pretty cool though, right?

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