Photos In The Blink Of An Eye: Sony Seeking Patent For Contact Lens Camera

Life is finally imitating art.

One very cool but extremely far-fetched, Mission Impossible, James Bond, Inspector gadget-y type inventions may soon be available for public purchase.

Sony recently applied for a patent on a contact lens that allows pictures to be taken by blinking an eye.

And that’s not all it can do.

This contact lens camera can adjust the zoom, focus and aperture of the camera, automatically– while being worn.

But that’s STILL not all it can do…

The high tech lens can also record, store and play back video—while in the eye of the user.

The Technology:

This intelligent contact lens, dubbed “smart eyes” by it’s seven Japanese developers, is equipped with a camera, wireless processing unit and storage unit.

The lens’s self-containing storage unit allowed it to surpass Samsung’s “smartlenses” patented earlier last month, as those lenses rely on a smart device for storage.

The patent also claims the lens contains an organic electroluminescence display screen used to play back video.

All of this on a contact lens that fits the human eye.

How it works:

The contacts, which only need to be worn on one eye, can be switched on and off by closing the eyelids
Pictures are snapped by the wearer deliberately blinking the eye. The images are automatically stored and can be transmitted wirelessly to a device such as a smartphone or tablet
Sensors are used to detect the length of an eyelid closure – and distinguish blinks from voluntary movements
Blinking during video recording is detected and the resulting black frames are erased.
The system is equipped to correct tilted images, get rid of blur and control focus and distance
Users can play videos by switching to display mode with a different, preset eyelid movement

Sony explains that these contacts are equipped with technology that actively measures the user’s blink, wink and eye tilt to determine which action to take. The lens is designed to calibrate itself specifically for the user.

The Catch:

This is more of a glimpse into the not to distance future than it is reality at this point. The technology to fit all of those functions into a tiny contact lens does not presently exist, making it more of a prototype than reality.

So for now, we’ll have to continue to live vicariously through Hollywood’s superspies.

Featured image by Niek Beck on Flickr and available for use under Creative Commons 2.0 license.

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Author Profile: Consumer Expert Denise Hill

Denise is currently a writer and editor for a federal agency in Washington, DC. She is an open-minded free spirit always ready for new adventures. She enjoys traveling and relishes being exposed to alternate points of view. Faith, family and finances are the core of her value system. She follows her own path and marches to her own beat. She is a dream chaser and with her husband and best friend by her side, she plans to take over the world.

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