The size of the devices on the market make them easier to carry, but nothing beats a camera-contact lens. Drawing of a possible design of the lens, photo from the patent application (Image via Sony)
Every time the term “machine” is uttered, it used to refer to a non-organic, unnatural entity made by mankind, and which functions through a set of mechanisms. In the past, machines had no personality and really felt lifeless, at least until they are powered on. Today, machines have evolved to the point that they can make decisions on their own. Machines are also used differently today. Once upon a time, mankind had to type their own text messages, but now, it is possible to speak the message to the phones, and it will type and send it. Also, cameras used to be on a tripod with all sort of attachments necessary to take a picture or shoot a film; today, not only have they gotten lighter, but scientists have found a way to take pictures with just a blink of an eye.
A few companies have been exploring the field of wearable technology for some time now, and the latest creation is Sony’s contact lens that takes pictures and shoots videos; all the user has to do is to blink the eye. Other companies like Google have digital contact lenses as well, but theirs either enhance eyesight or are used as an augmented reality device. In a sense, the eyes are already one way the brain collects data, but this time the data isn’t collected by the brain but by the contact lens. Given that blinking is both an involuntary and voluntary movement, the question is how to communicate to the lens that one blink is meant to take a picture when another is part of the normal mechanism for protecting the eye. Sony’s engineers thought of including in the design sensors that would tell the difference. Since contact lenses’ size are somewhat limited, the engineers plan on putting all the technology for snapping pictures and storage in the center of the lens, the area around the iris. Some additional sensors, the piezoelectric sensors will utilize the movements of the eye to power the lens.
Now, even though the technology is sound, and the company filed a patent on it, it is still in the work. The entire system is not yet the right size to fit in the lens. Google’s failure with the Google Glass is certainly a motivation to speed up the creation of the wearable camera. It is not just the industry of camera or smartphone that will be affected by the birth of this new device. Smartphones makers will need to up their creative game once the camera on the phone won’t be necessary anymore. The new type of camera could also change the way certain AR games work. Google, on the other hand, is working on a contact lens that could help diabetic monitor their health better; a possible giant step for medicine.
It is true that machines have evolved and can get a lot more done, but it is still mankind that programmed them to be smarter. Could it be that humans are getting smarter? Many metaphysics experts say that everything that humanity needs already exists and it is just a matter of mankind opening its mind to the possibilities. Therefore, could it be that mankind has not found a cure for cancer, or resolved other technology and science-related issues because it is too busy enjoying what is available now? With that theory, the possibilities seem endless, but maybe that is scary enough to hold humanity in its current circumstances. It is becoming clear that everything once imagined in any sci-fi movie is becoming a reality, and that raises another question: is it possible that mankind could lose control of its creations and technology? If so, what could be the negative effects of wearing such an advanced technology inside the body?
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