A futuristic concept from Samsung would place a display and camera right on top of of your eyes. The electronics giant has filed a patent application in South Korea for a smart contact lens design. By adding electronics to contact lenses, Samsung could create a more subtle version of Google Glass. Although the patent was filed in 2014, it was just recently discovered by Sammobile, a website that hosts a portal for Samsung firmware and reports on the “important scoops about all things Samsung.”
The contact lens would have a tiny OLED display that could project images directly into a user’s eyes. It would also have a camera, antenna, and sensors to detect movement and input (for example, blinking). A user’s smartphone would handle the processing. While other companies such as Google X are working on smart contact lenses for medical applications, Samsung’s seems to focus more on consumer electronics. Sammobile reports that the patent application claims that the contacts would address some of the shortfalls of Google Glass, by offering a more natural way to view augmented reality. While the invention is certainly an interesting concept, emedded a tiny camera into a clear lens that sits right on top of people’s eyes raises important safety and privacy concerns. So far, there is no indication of when (if ever) Samsung would commercialize the device.