Oh, for god's sake. The overlords at the Googleplex, not satisfied to have everyone wearing face computers that can easily attract shaming and be snatched off their faces, are at work on a camera can that can live in a contact lens "without drastically increasing its thickness," as the Patent Bolt reports. They've been filing multiple patents for a smart contact lens over the last few months, and the idea is to explore the various devices that could fit on a lens that could help with the collection of visual data, capturing images, spying (obviously), aiding the blind, and even treating diabetes.
The camera would be a teeny tiny device that would live, along with some kind of power supply and wireless functionality, on the lens below or beside the pupil.
Patent Bolt explains, via the patent apps:
One of Google many patent applications regarding future smart contact lenses generally relates to systems and/or methods for capturing image data representing a scene in a gaze of a viewer via a thin image capture component integrated on or within a contact lens, processing the image data, and employing the processed image data to perform functions locally on the contact lens or remotely on one or more remote devices. The term "images capture component" simple means a camera.
For example, a thin (image capture) camera component can be embedded on or within a contact lens such that it does not substantially affect thickness of a conventional contact lens. Furthermore, the camera component can be aligned such that it tracks and generates image data of an image of a scene corresponding to the gaze of the wearer, without obstructing the wearer's view.
As the wearer's gaze shifts, the contact lens will follow the shift in gaze, thereby allowing for generating image data corresponding to an image of the scene in the shifted gaze.
The etiquette questions, not to mention all the ethical and legal ones, of wearing a camera on your eyeball will need to be hashed out if this comes to pass. And it probably will.
And rather than focus on the myriad new privacy issues that such a clandestine "images capture component" could raise, Google has been quick to suggest all the many humanity-benefiting possibilities of such a device. For instance, there could be a tear-collection component that tests a diabetic person's tears for glucose levels and alerts them if they get too low. Or there could be a visual alert system for the blind that sees dangers in their paths, or alerts them when to enter a crosswalk.
Yes, and you can take pictures in the gym locker room without anyone knowing.