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What’s New: Smartphone-Connected Contact Lenses

Smartphone-connected contact lens

Yes, you read the title 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 converts Bluetooth signals into Wi-Fi signals. Wi-Fi is created 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, these contact lenses 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 blood sugar levels through tears, a connected contact lens could send notifications to a person’s phone when his/her blood sugar levels have decreased. However, according to the engineers, these smartphone-connected lenses were designed to do more than just provide medical information. We’ll just have to wait to see what else they can do once they hit the shelves.

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