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Samsung Receives Patent For Smart Contact Lenses (softpedia.com) 66

An anonymous reader writes: Samsung has received a patent in South Korea for interactive contact lenses. The lenses will be formed of a transmitter, a camera, a display unit, and movement sensors. The lenses will be controlled by blinking. The contact lenses will be able to receive [videos or images] from a nearby smartphone, which will double as a processing unit for interactive controls and a storage device for pictures taken with the lens' camera. While Google and Swiss healthcare startup Sensimed have been working on contact lenses to cure medical diseases, Samsung's lenses are for experimenting with new methods of delivering augmented reality interfaces and data.
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Samsung Receives Patent For Smart Contact Lenses

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  • by justcauseisjustthat ( 1150803 ) on Wednesday April 06, 2016 @06:54PM (#51857023)
    Imagine an ad showing up in your eye while driving, nothing could go wrong here.
    • After weeks of getting "You are not allowed to use this resource." while trying to post or submit to slashdot, finally a fix....
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      ad showing up in your eye while driving

      "The Jake & Flake law firm would like you to consider our legal services to assist you with the accident you are about to have..."

    • by Creepy ( 93888 )

      My first thought was around the same lines- imagine if someone hacked your connection/phone while driving. My second thought was that is what self driving cars are for...

      In any case, I really wonder if there will ever even be a market here, as many people are relatively averse to putting something in their eye. I know several people that refuse to wear contacts (and most got Lasik) just for that reason. That was never an option for me - my vision is too crappy to correct without replacing the lens (and at t

      • In any case, I really wonder if there will ever even be a market here, as many people are relatively averse to putting something in their eye.

        Well, there are millions out there that don't have a problem with it and wear contacts. A number of actors that don't need them have for eye effects, etc.

        I for one found this article very interesting, but I'd not thought about the damned ads thing...I'd not like that.

        But to have "Terminator" type vision would be very cool.

        One thing I'd thought about would be if

        • One thing that scares me away...I have noticed that MOST of the eye doctors hawking lasik, are wearing GLASSES.

          No kidding. You know why? High-order aberrations. Eye surface distortions that cannot be corrected with glasses. Most people can handle living with them but you can see halos, etc. Sometimes its bad enough that some people who did lasik can't drive at night.

          I think I said it last time I saw my ophthalmologist that I'll do lasik once I see them do it to themselves.

          As for contacts maybe the softer

  • Geordi VISOR's so prior art

  • They saw Futurama's eyePhone episode and decided to get the drop on Apple. Little do they know, Mom's Friendly Robot Company will acquire them both in the near future.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm getting a headache just thinking about it!
  • Umm where's the battery go?
    • You really, really do not want to know. But it will definitely make your eyes water.

  • by penguinoid ( 724646 ) on Wednesday April 06, 2016 @07:16PM (#51857129) Homepage Journal

    Smart contact lenses ... controlled by blinking.

    Now we need to punch anyone who blinks a lot? Stupid glassholes.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Someday the smart contact lenses will be able to identify the people who have smart contact lenses for you to punch.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      We don't need to punch anyone, and it wasn't the GlassGeeks that were the problem.

      Google and the glass users just didn't realize that slow people thought having a (mostly inactive) camera pointed at them was something new and somehow objectionable, when we already accepted cell phones with cameras, and security cameras everywhere. Glass was in reality no different than an iPhone in a shirt pocket, but a few idiots went nuts, and the media made it a thing.

  • If they can't see what's to be killed, then it will be a lot easier to have it advance.

  • Samsung's project has nothing to do with health-related applications

    What we really need is contact lenses or glasses that actively focus with the eye to restore range of focus for older people. Range of focus is an accurate indicator of how old you are, i.e., old people might be able to see up close or see the distance, but they can't do both. Glasses that could detect how the eye is focussing (probably with infra-red sensors) and then adapt to help would be a major advance.

    • Don't they already have artificial lenses now which allow accommodation?

    • There already are multifocal contacts on the market. I've been wearing the AirOptix brand for 10 yrs or so. There's a limit to the range of correcting power (+2.50 diopters off the distance value) right now, but it's plenty for me at this time.
      Meanwhile, Crystalens and a couple other players are doing the same with internal lens replacements, and are close to producing a soft internal lens which can refocus using the eye's original muscles (which can't adjust the original lens as it stiffens with age).

  • Take something people buy only once every few years and put it on a disposable contact lens so that they have to re-buy every few weeks. Brilliant!

  • That looks like another one of those patents like "wouldn't it be nice if we had...". The hard work is actually getting the display technology, camera, power, and computing sufficiently miniaturized.

    • Exactly. I'm wondering what the effective resolution would be on something this small.
      • Sony already makes surgical huds with OLEDs that as 1280x720 with an 18mm diagonal. So thats about 2000ppi

        http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/N... [sony.net]

        • That is still orders of magnitude away from what's required for a contact lens, plus whatever optics are needed to make it work, plus power supply, plus cooling.

          • Is it though? Do you really need a display where you are unable to determine the pixels? I can read a 720 display easily well inside the 0.3 arc minute distance that is meant to be the human eye resolution. Also those displays were from back in 2012 so I would assume an improvement in tech since then. Sony also have a 680 x 400 screen which is .23" in diagonal. That comes in at "retina" level at under an inch. I don't actually know where they measure the retina level from though, is it from the exteri

            • Sony also have a 680 x 400 screen which is .23" in diagonal. That comes in at "retina" level at under an inch.

              The "Retina" display is a marketing gimmick and refers to the notion that at a certain resolution, when held at normal viewing distances, the human eye can't distinguish the pixels anymore. That limit is usually actually an optical limit, not a "retinal" limit.

              Is it though? Do you really need a display where you are unable to determine the pixels?

              You're right: you don't. Even a working 32x32 contac

      • by safetyinnumbers ( 1770570 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @12:28AM (#51858269)
        I'm wondering what sort of display could produce a focused image. You can't just put OLEDs or whatever right against the lens and be able to see them clearly. You'd have to collimate it somehow.
  • From the control room, "Hey Steve, check out the third guy in line with the blue t-shirt. He's blinking a heck of a lot. Must be nervous about something. Make sure you select him for advanced screening."

    • Even worse is expect to now have to look into a retina scanner at movie theaters because the MPAA won't want you recording movies with your eyes.
  • by Daniel Matthews ( 4112743 ) on Wednesday April 06, 2016 @08:31PM (#51857453)
    will it automatically unfriend you on my Facepoop account?
  • This would be so useful if they could make it work, though I have no idea how they would power it.

    Immediately off the top of my head, navigation would be a huge selling point, a HUD compass would be really useful, especially when travelling in foreign countries. Then there is an instant clipboard. If I could look at something, blink and then had it as a screenshot in the top left it would be brilliant. How many times have you scrawled something on a scrap of paper or had to cycle through to that buried n

    • People in the US freaked? As I recall, it was a bunch of Frenchman in a McDonald's in Paris who got physically violent with a Google Glass user.

      • No not quite. It has 2 years before the glass came out, early 2012, and it was a guy that had a prosthetic eye piece that was attacked in Maccas.

    • Read barcodes and translate them. Best price on anything.

  • When cameras that can be disguised as facial moles become mainstream, privacy will be very dead.

    Imagine a Beowulf cluster of boogers.

  • This has gotta be bullshit, or at least a conceptual patent (which is another word for bullshit), right?

    From everything I know about optics -- and I teach college physics, so I'm not clueless -- if you put a video screen on the surface of the eyeball all you'll see is a colored blur over your whole field of vision. What matters is not the location of the light source on your cornea, but the *direction* it's coming from: any workable video screen would need to work kinda like a phased-array radar, but a mil

    • Well, if I were at your college, I'd fire you on the spot. Not only do you fail to consider the remote possibility that a team of engineers and researchers might know a little more than you do on the subject, you apparently don't even know how to do research on your own.

      Next up: you teach electrons as being in orbits, not probabilistic orbitals, because QM is clearly rubbish?

      • If I had utterly failed to consider the possibility, I wouldn't have spent a couple sentences speculating on how it might be done. Could there be some revolution in optics I've never heard of? Sure, that's why I'm asking. Could a company have patented an idea they have no idea how to implement, so they can patent troll in the future? Well gosh, that never happens.

        • Could a major research-focused company like Samsung have state-of-the-art innovations which they're keeping secret and hoping even the best research teams in competing companies don't know about, much less college professors, until they can get a product out? Absolutely.

          Are they significant enough to actually produce a contact-lens-based display?

          Well, patents only last 20 years, and there's no point having a patent for only the last year or two of an invention going main-stream - you want it for as long as

  • by TomGreenhaw ( 929233 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @07:56AM (#51859285)
    Patents should not be issued for inventions without working models. With the principle of first to file, anybody can file a patent for anything. This stifles innovation. Why would anyone work on a genuine effort for an innovation when a troll has decided to squat on an idea they have no intention of developing.
    • by delt0r ( 999393 )
      You have no idea what first to file means compared to "first to invent" do you. First to file changes *nothing* about the requirements for a patent. So if you didn't need a working prototype for first to invent (you didn't) then you don't now. It changes nothing about prior art. It changes nothing about anything unless 2 people filed for the same thing at the same time! Proving you "invented" first is basically impossible and meant that it was very expensive to resolve. While first to file has a nice time s
      • I think we may be agreeing violently. I'm trying to express my opinion about patents that stake a claim on territory yet to exist. Practical real world examples of this invention are as plausible as fusion power generation - certainly possible but certainly many years away. Having a large company prematurely claim ownership of the idea stifles innovation. Additionally, this patent is filed in South Korea. There is also prior art. Its also an obvious idea to a practitioner in the arts.
        • by delt0r ( 999393 )
          Perhaps we are, but first to file changes nothing about what can be patented. It only comes into effect when 2 parties file for the same patent at the same time. A very rare thing in fact.

          Its also an obvious idea to a practitioner in the arts.

          Unfortunately this is irrelevant as the patent attorneys and courts have got a hold of that language and twisted to mean something no one would find relevant or meaningful.

  • Now you can use your contacts to change what your spouse looks like to you...your marriage is 1000% times better. Now I just need hearing aids to change the sarcastic tone into something more seductive.
  • It did not end well.

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