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Google's smart contact lens tracks glucose levels for diabetics

post #1 of 68
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Google this week announced it has been working on a wearable device of a different kind than usual --?a smart contact lens that could measure glucose levels from the moisture on a user's eyeball.

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The search giant revealed the previously unknown project in a post to its official blog, which has been under development at the skunkworks-like "Google X" lab for experimental projects. The goal, project co-founder Brian Otis and Babak Parviz explained, is to make it easier for people with diabetes to track their glucose levels.

Scientists have found ways to measure glucose through tears, but obviously collecting such bodily fluids can be difficult. That's where the concept for a wearable smart contact lens aims to be a potential solution.Google's smart lens prototype includes a wireless chip and miniaturized glucose sensor to get readings from the user's tears.

Google's device would include a "tiny wireless chip and a miniaturized glucose sensor" embedded between two thin contact lens layers which could be worn on the user's eye. The company's prototypes can reportedly generate one reading per second.

The company is even looking into integrating small LED lights on the lens that could serve as an early warning indicator for the wearer. If glucose levels were to go above or below certain thresholds, those embedded lights could alert the user to prevent a serious health risk.

"It's still early days for this technology, but we've completed multiple clinical research studies which are helping to refine our prototype," Otis and Parviz explained. "We hope this could someday lead to a new way for people with diabetes to manage their disease."

Google's project is said to be so far along that the company has even had discussion with the FDA. However, it's not expected to be available to average consumers anytime soon, with the company explaining that "there's a lot more work to do."

The smart contact lens concept from Google is one of the more advanced wearable device concepts seen yet as the trend continues to grow. Wearable devices were the highlight of this year's Consumer Electronics Show, with companies introducing watches, headsets and even rings embedded with electronic devices.

Glass


Google, of course, has made waves with its own wearable "Glass," which is currently only available to developers. That product is a head-mounted display that can allow users to view information hands-free.

Multiple rumors have suggested Apple is considering entering the wearable device market, with the most common references to a wrist-worn product that could track health data and provide users with easily glanceable information. Further driving those rumors is the fact that Apple itself has filed for ownership of the "iWatch" moniker in Japan, Russia, Mexico, and Taiwan.
post #2 of 68
While I'm not always Google's biggest fan, I do applaud their willingness to do R&D for things a little outside their normal business. Something like this could be incredibly beneficial to many people in the future.
post #3 of 68

Distractions.  

 

Let me put that in perspective:  John Scully introduced the "Knowledge Navigator" video in 1987.  This is Google's Knowledge Navigator moment:  A cool idea, but the product may never come.  

 

So whatever happend to Google's self-driving car?


Edited by winstein2010 - 1/17/14 at 10:04am
post #4 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by diz_geek View Post

While I'm not always Google's biggest fan, I do applaud their willingness to do R&D for things a little outside their normal business. Something like this could be incredibly beneficial to many people in the future.

 

Exactly. Sometimes, people just need to step down off the Google hatebox and applaud their truly GOOD efforts. As a person with a number of family members with diabetes, this is very interesting and promising to me.

post #5 of 68

Isaacson will wet his pants with this!

 

Smoke and mirrors

post #6 of 68
You know Google is starting to look and feel like another company we all know about, Xerox who spent billions on research ideas and failed to capitalized on them since it was not core to their business.

Google and Amazon and others need to stop talking about great ideas and actually deliver on the idea and make real money from the ideas. The idea is only good as people's willingness to buy and the money you can make from it.
post #7 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

Google and Amazon and others need to stop talking about great ideas and actually deliver on the idea and make real money from the ideas. The idea is only good as people's willingness to buy and the money you can make from it.

 

As someone with a scientific background, I 100% disagree with this. R&D can benefit humanity without people making money off of it.

post #8 of 68
Kudos to Google but there is always a catch.
post #9 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by buckalec View Post

Isaacson will wet his pants with this!

Smoke and mirrors

You must be referring to yesterday's story.
http://www.phonearena.com/news/Jobs-biographer-calls-Google-more-innovative-and-says-Tim-Cook-needs-a-team_id51500
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post #10 of 68
Originally Posted by diz_geek View Post
While I'm not always Google's biggest fan, I do applaud their willingness to do R&D for things a little outside their normal business. Something like this could be incredibly beneficial to many people in the future.

 

I’d like it better if they shut down their normal business and ONLY did this. If they stopped being evil incarnate, I’d be really happy about their robotics purchases, self-driving cars, and medical services.

Originally Posted by asdasd

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Originally Posted by asdasd

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post #11 of 68
Peeping Tom helping an old lady cross the street.
post #12 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

As someone with a scientific background, I 100% disagree with this. R&D can benefit humanity without people making money off of it.
Because we're all altruistic people not motivated money. Ha! I guess that's why Google founders are billionaires?
post #13 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post
 

 

As someone with a scientific background, I 100% disagree with this. R&D can benefit humanity without people making money off of it.

 

Shareholders don't disagree....

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post #14 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post
 

 

As someone with a scientific background, I 100% disagree with this. R&D can benefit humanity without people making money off of it.

Yes, some things need to be beyond company profits and instead be for the common good. There is a lot of societal value in 'common good'. If a profit making company develops an idea that they think fits that category and fort ahead 'because it is awesome', all power to them. This idea is absolutely potentially awesome. Whether Google has an ulterior motive or not, who knows, but I suspect this kind of effort, if developed entirely for the common good and without an eye on profit will serve Google well financially down the road in terms of monetization of auxiliary related products and services. Add to that the positive PR, keeping great employs happy and I'd think its a win win. Imagine if Apple produced something like this and how it would feed into the iWatch idea (I am sure the iWatch stands for iWatch over myself rather than iKnow what time it is).

post #15 of 68
There are a lot of people who hate apple, and lot who hate google, buy if I were to step back from that crowd for a second.. I'd say I like googles ability to talk about cool ideas like this. The idea isn't done, and it may not benefit them to show apple and others that they were developing contact lense tech (for whatever reason, that ended up as a glucose inspector), but instead of tabling it because the profit margin isn't as big as other areas they work in they allow it out there to make a positive impact. They'll make money of course, but one day you or I could use this tech for health reasons.
post #16 of 68

Hope they don't turn this useful idea into something evil, like "EyeAd".

post #17 of 68

Given the US obesity rate, this could outsell their smartphone business...?  :\

[Disclaimer: US citizen, on the obesity bubble]

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Quality isn't expensive... it's priceless.

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post #18 of 68
post #19 of 68

So the Futurama jokes were true:  "EyePhone"

post #20 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by winstein2010 View Post
 

So the Futurama jokes were true:  "EyePhone"

FTW

post #21 of 68

I don't get all the noise today about google .... so what? They track anything and everything .... DEAD or Alive!!

....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

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....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

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post #22 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Disturbia View Post

I don't get all the noise today about google .... so what? They track anything and everything .... DEAD or Alive!!


 



Because this time they might actually be tracking something useful, like glucose levels.

I'm just curious how it would feel to wear this. I've been wearing soft contacts myself for over 20 years. Comfort will obviously be a big issue. Would be amazing if they manage to bring these to market, especially if they can communicate with a smartphone app.
post #23 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freshmaker View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Disturbia View Post
 

I don't get all the noise today about google .... so what? They track anything and everything .... DEAD or Alive!!

 



Because this time they might actually be tracking something useful, like glucose levels.

I'm just curious how it would feel to wear this. I've been wearing soft contacts myself for over 20 years. Comfort will obviously be a big issue. Would be amazing if they manage to bring these to market, especially if they can communicate with a smartphone app.

Yes, I understand. I am sure this type of invention helps people more than their stupid dumb OK Glass crap ... but only IF they don't send an Ad to some poor patients .... Buy Viagra online .... it'll help leveling your glucose!

....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

Reply

....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

Reply
post #24 of 68
"Your blood glucose levels are low. Here are some products that might help you with that."
post #25 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Idiot View Post
 

 

 

Your username made me laugh.  Your post not so much.

post #26 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Disturbia View Post

Yes, I understand. I am sure this type of invention helps people more than their stupid dumb OK Glass crap

What you see as "stupid" others may see as valuable.

http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Doctors-see-Google-Glass-as-useful-diagnostic-tool-4958193.php
Edited by Gatorguy - 1/17/14 at 12:24pm
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post #27 of 68
Ouch, that contact lens looks thick.
post #28 of 68

No doubt. No doubt, my friend.

 

Personally, I would fire my doctor and hire one who looks at me straight in my eyes and pay attention to me and me ONLY!

....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

Reply

....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

Reply
post #29 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by JupiterOne View Post

Ouch, that contact lens looks thick.

 

Not only thick, but just where are they going to hide the CR2032 battery?   Or maybe it will have a little generator, powered by the eyelid winking.   ;)

post #30 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by TeaEarleGreyHot View Post

Not only thick, but just where are they going to hide the CR2032 battery?   Or maybe it will have a little generator, powered by the eyelid winking.   1wink.gif

From a more detailed article on another blog:
"powered remotely using a 5-millimeter-long antenna printed on the lens to receive gigahertz-range radio-frequency energy from a transmitter"
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post #31 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post
 

 

Shareholders don't disagree....

 

Shareholders don't have much say at Google.  Google is pretty much immune to the Icahns and Einhorns that Apple is prone to run into should they try to step outside the box.

 

If you invest in Google it is pretty much solely for the hopes of a decent ROI- you do get a token vote because it is a requirement- but your vote actually amounts to little compared to the super-voting shares.

 

I'm pretty sure Larry and Sergei alone still control over 50% of the votes by themselves- so shareholders agreeing or disagreeing with them just doesn't matter as much as it does in companies where angry shareholders could actually vote in a new CEO.

post #32 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frood View Post

Shareholders don't have much say at Google.  Google is pretty much immune to the Icahns and Einhorns that Apple is prone to run into should they try to step outside the box.

If you invest in Google it is pretty much solely for the hopes of a decent ROI- you do get a token vote because it is a requirement- but your vote actually amounts to little compared to the super-voting shares.

I'm pretty sure Larry and Sergei alone still control over 50% of the votes by themselves- so shareholders agreeing or disagreeing with them just doesn't matter as much as it does in companies where angry shareholders could actually vote in a new CEO.

Google was up front with investors from the beginning:
"As a private company, we have concentrated on the long term, and this has served us well. As a public company, we will do the same. In our opinion, outside pressures too often tempt companies to sacrifice long term opportunities to meet quarterly market expectations. Sometimes this pressure has caused companies to manipulate financial results in order to "make their quarter." In Warren Buffett's words, "We won't 'smooth' quarterly or annual results: If earnings figures are lumpy when they reach headquarters, they will be lumpy when they reach you."

If opportunities arise that might cause us to sacrifice short term results but are in the best long term interest of our shareholders, we will take those opportunities. We will have the fortitude to do this. We would request that our shareholders take the long term view.
"
http://investor.google.com/corporate/2004/ipo-founders-letter.html
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post #33 of 68

Who the heck would be crazy enough to stick this thing in their eyes?

The liabilities for someone losing their eyes are tremendous.

Not to mention that Google devices are usually extra buggy.

 

Hell no.  I would not use this on my eyes.

 

NEXT.

 

LOL

post #34 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post
 

 

As someone with a scientific background, I 100% disagree with this. R&D can benefit humanity without people making money off of it.

I did not say that it may not be beneficial, but too many company spend money on ideas which never see the light of day in any practical sense. 

 

If you do not believe me, go to any number of government research lab websites which US tax payers have paid for and they have a long list of research idea that have put time and money into and they are advertising these ideas are open to anyone who wants to license them, and very few have takers why, the list is long but mostly because no one can figure out how to make money form  the idea.

 

I am and engineer and with all my years in R&D and Product Develop one thing I know is all engineers and scientist thing all problem are interesting and need to be solved whether it make any financial sense. I am not aware of anyone willing to work for free or some other benefit, so the idea have to pay the bills and as said Google is appears to be going the Path of Xerox.

 

One last point, yeah you need R&D to see what ideas work and which one will be beneficial, at the end of day you have to productize the idea and make money form it. The best thing Google could do is spin these idea off into their own companies and let people run with them, but they have not done that yet.

post #35 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


Google was up front with investors from the beginning:
"As a private company, we have concentrated on the long term, and this has served us well. As a public company, we will do the same. In our opinion, outside pressures too often tempt companies to sacrifice long term opportunities to meet quarterly market expectations. Sometimes this pressure has caused companies to manipulate financial results in order to "make their quarter." In Warren Buffett's words, "We won't 'smooth' quarterly or annual results: If earnings figures are lumpy when they reach headquarters, they will be lumpy when they reach you."

If opportunities arise that might cause us to sacrifice short term results but are in the best long term interest of our shareholders, we will take those opportunities. We will have the fortitude to do this. We would request that our shareholders take the long term view.
"
http://investor.google.com/corporate/2004/ipo-founders-letter.html

To you point, Google is still ridding high on high growth opportunities, They have not hit the Wall Street lumps in the road. When Wall Street turns on Google as we have seen them turn on Apple and other companies watch that they do, that statement will get toss in a second and they will be do exactly what Steve Jobs refuse to do but now Cook has to deal with, spending more time dealing with Wall Street than running the business at hand.

 

Steve never went to a customer to do a dog and pony show, Steve most likely would have had the CEO of China Mobile come to him at some product announcement. Cook is now pandering to Wall Street in hopes to help drive up the value of the stock to where most everyone believe it should be. 

post #36 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post
 

 

As someone with a scientific background, I 100% disagree with this. R&D can benefit humanity without people making money off of it.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post
 

I did not say that it may not be beneficial, but too many company spend money on ideas which never see the light of day in any practical sense. 

 

If you do not believe me, go to any number of government research lab websites which US tax payers have paid for and they have a long list of research idea that have put time and money into and they are advertising these ideas are open to anyone who wants to license them, and very few have takers why, the list is long but mostly because no one can figure out how to make money form  the idea.

 

I am and engineer and with all my years in R&D and Product Develop one thing I know is all engineers and scientist thing all problem are interesting and need to be solved whether it make any financial sense. I am not aware of anyone willing to work for free or some other benefit, so the idea have to pay the bills and as said Google is appears to be going the Path of Xerox.

 

One last point, yeah you need R&D to see what ideas work and which one will be beneficial, at the end of day you have to productize the idea and make money form it. The best thing Google could do is spin these idea off into their own companies and let people run with them, but they have not done that yet.

As someone with a scientific, medical, and investment background, I agree with Maestro64. Unfortunately it is extremely difficult to bring a significant medical product  (a drug or device) to market without substantial investment. A public company such as Google will not invest the hundreds of millions of dollars to get such a device approved unless they hope to get a return on their investment for their shareholders. They may toy around with certain ideas to flex their muscles, get free publicity, and improve their image, but they have a history of revealing ideas at an early stage that are quietly abandoned later. 

 

With respect to the actual device, I do not think a contact lens measuring tear glucose levels is the best way for noninvasive glucose monitoring. Chronic contact lens use has numerous issues and complications, and the FDA (and EMEA, following the FDA's lead) would want to be assured that there are no further complications in diabetics. If Google can get it to work, more power to them. Until then... we'll just wait and see.

 

As a side note, , to paraphrase RichL a bit, I do believe that Europe and the ROW and benefit 100% from the medical R&D done in the U.S. (public, private, corporate) without having to pay for it. 

post #37 of 68
Just noticed an "exclusive story" at 9to5 about Apple also working on sensors and products for the medical field. Somewhat atypical really as it almost reads as coming from Apple sources, sorta "we're doing it too". Little doubt that Apple is in fact working in the same field and has been for awhile but perfect timing on previously unreported details and tech.
Edited by Gatorguy - 1/17/14 at 4:47pm
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post #38 of 68
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post
Just noticed an "exclusive story" at 9to5 about Apple also working on sensors and products for the medical field. Somewhat atypical really as it almost reads as coming from Apple sources, sorta "we're doing it too".

 

Boy, you are just the FUDmaster, aren’t you.

Originally Posted by asdasd

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Originally Posted by asdasd

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post #39 of 68
This idea seems to be kind of overkill. I really don't think that having a contact lens measure your glucose is something useful or something that someone might really want.

Unless someone with a condition like diabetes that also needs to wear glasses wanted that extra bonus from their contacts, I don't see how this could be useful.
post #40 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

To you point, Google is still ridding high on high growth opportunities, They have not hit the Wall Street lumps in the road. When Wall Street turns on Google as we have seen them turn on Apple and other companies watch that they do, that statement will get toss in a second and they will be do exactly what Steve Jobs refuse to do but now Cook has to deal with, spending more time dealing with Wall Street than running the business at hand.

Steve never went to a customer to do a dog and pony show, Steve most likely would have had the CEO of China Mobile come to him at some product announcement. Cook is now pandering to Wall Street in hopes to help drive up the value of the stock to where most everyone believe it should be. 

Pure BS!

When Steve announced the iPhone, partners were with him for the announcement. Sure, the partners were here in the USA but the truth is Steve went to Verizon and AT&T and Corning to promote iPhone. Trying to hate in Tim Cook with falsehoods about Steve is simply idiotic.

There is no doubt Steve would have had his ass in China just like Tim did for this announcement. Apple needs China Mobile AND China much more than China Mobile and China needs Apple.

Doubt what I write? Just let some politician in China decide to hate on Apple to see how quickly Apple sales get blocked and Apple's stock drops.

So please let the Steve historical rewrites go because Steve is dead and is not coming back. He is missed and will be remembered. But remember him with all his faults and strengths honestly. That will show respect to his memory.
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