Google X Labs release new smart contact lens

by Kameron Casey | Staff Writer
Published: Last Updated on

Google wants to be a part of your life, in every way possible. If you go to the University of Indianapolis, then you use Google’s email service. If you’re like me, then you have a personal Gmail account as well, and both are accessible through your phone. On top of that, in 2014, you inevitably use Google’s search engine daily. Google is already a huge part of all of our lives, but there is much more in store.

Google’s latest venture is aimed at the diabetic community. Google X Labs, on which I will elaborate later, has started testing smart contact lenses. According to CNN Money, the contacts contain infinitesimal wireless chips and glucose sensors stuck between two lenses. The contacts can measure blood sugar levels once per second, and the company is working on inserting tiny LED lights that would flash to alert users when levels are too high or low. According to Google, the electronics in the lens are so small, that they look like a speck of glitter.

Now assumedly, the chip inside would have the ability to transmit the information to your wireless device, which would help take the pain and inconvenience out of traditional glucose readers. And if the contacts had the option to be used for prescription use by those with poor eyesight, they could serve a double purpose. With diabetes affecting over 25 million people in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and even more worldwide, this seems like an amazing step towards helping people with diabetes monitor their health more effectively. But some would disagree and say that technology has overstepped its boundaries.

Remember when I mentioned “Google X Labs?” Well the smart contact lens is not their only venture. They’ve also ventured into “driverless” cars. Google deployed a fleet of seven automated cars that, according to a 2011 CNN Money report, have driven across California, accumulating more than 140,000 miles, with no reported incidents. Although this may seem too “I, Robot” to some, the jump doesn’t seem that unlikely or implausible to me. More and more, we are seeing cars that can parallel park for you, cars that have brake assist, and cars that can sense the threat of an accident and alert the driver. So why not make the jump? In theory, you would decrease traffic and congestion, have fewer accidents and have the greatest fuel economy possible. Driverless cars not outlandish enough for you? Then have a look at my favorite project that Google X Labs has launched, literally: Project Loon.

Essentially, air balloons are launched into the air to give 3G Internet speed to places that have trouble getting it. If you’re like me, there are a number of crucial spots where you lose service on your phone. For me, it’s my home and UIndy, the two places where I spend most of my time. So instead of being tied to the restrictions of being in range of a tower, the balloons could potentially eliminate connection problems as a whole. Testing already has begun in New Zealand, where 50 people were given access to a 30-balloon network.

These projects only scratch the surface of the Google Takeover. The way I see it, if Google continues to push forward, advancements with Google glass, Gmail, Project Loon, and a number of other projects could help us stay connected 24/7. Some will say it’s too much, technology is going to take over, and “Big Brother” will be watching our every move; but I prefer to look at it as the next step in human efficiency.

 

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