Over the past couple of years tech-giant Google has filed for patents related to vision and visual acuity. What does this mean? Is Google interested in curing blindness?
Possibly. They’re first move into the ophthalmological medical sphere was their Smart Contact Lens Project which promises to help diabetics control their levels of glucose through a wearable contact device. While that project is interesting, it doesn’t necessarily take on vision loss directly.
But their newest eye-related patent does. It looks like Google is also interested in creating a surgical implant that could restore vision to patients who are near or far sighted. It’s unclear how intricate the device might be (for example, would this only work for patients with astigmatisms?), but they do discuss removing and replacing a person’s natural lens and implanting an artificial lens that can respond to the person’s vision and adjust accordingly. That does sound remarkably like a bionic eye.
Pair all this with Google’s obvious interest in self-driving cars and the various applications of Google Glass for visually impaired wearers, and we just might be looking at the next big thing from Google: Accessibility, assistive technology and medical breakthroughs in vision!