July 15, 2014 2:01pm
Google’s been dabbling in wearable tech for the last couple of years, with the most public-facing examples of its progress being Google Glass and Android Wear. However, Google is also quietly pursuing some other, arguably more significant wearable technologies.
Back in January, the company announced plans for a smart contact lens that would monitor a user’s glucose levels via the tears in his or her eye. The Google[x] team created a contact lens material with embedded chips and sensors that takes a glucose reading once per second. At the time, Google said it was testing the lens, had completed multiple clinical research studies, and was in talks with the FDA. Now it looks like Google has secured a partner to develop the lens.
Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company Novartis announced today that it will be licensing Google’s smart lens technology through its eye care division, Alcon. Novartis hopes to transform eye care, as well as combat overly time consuming and often uncomfortable diabetes management. Aside from Google’s glucose monitoring system, Novartis sees the smart lens being used for relief against presbyopia, which causes the eye to lose the ability to focus with age. The lens would restore the eye’s natural autofocus on near objects and would form part of the refractive cataract treatment.
Sounds fantastic, right? All that’s left now is for the usual regulatory suspects to give the deal their stamp of approval.