Bionic eyes set to switch from fantasy to blinking reality

Samsung are attempting to patent a contact lens with a built in camera.Aficionados of the 1970s-era television series The Six Million Dollar Man, rejoice: contact lenses are coming that could make all your bionic-eye dreams come true.

A patent application published last week shows Korean electronics giant Samsung is working on a contact lens with a tiny built-in camera.

The lens, which would be controlled by blinking, includes an antenna that will allow the lenses to speak to your phone.

The patent follows the disclosure last year that a global team of academics, funded by the US defence industry, had developed contact lenses that could give the wearer telescopic vision.

WIth that device you would soon be able to zoom in on and record whatever is in front of your eye, without anyone knowing.

The Samsung patent application also suggests wearers of the lens would be able to project images directly onto the lens, potentially doing away with the awkwardness that augmented reality applications have sometimes struggled with on platforms such as  Google Glass.

The application is dated to 2014, about the same time Samsung moved to trademark the name Gear Blink, which has set technology bloggers to wondering if the new product and name aren’t tied to the same project.

Samsung uses the name Gear with its line of wearable technology.

The lens as described in the patent would create a product eerily similar to one imagined in one episode of the British cult TV series Black Mirror, in which the ability to record ones’ entire life and replay it on a screen inside the eye leads to destructive and dystopian outcomes.

Bernard Robertson-Dunn, chair of the health committee of the Australian Privacy Foundation, said such technologies were rife with risk and would need to “be watched very carefully”.

He said Google Glass’s ability to record and replay had raised privacy concerns around the world.

If anything, contact lenses would pose even greater threats because footage could be recorded in a way that was completely hidden.

“To record things without people’s knowledge is bordering on pure surveillance and invasion of privacy,” he said.

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