The article “Mission Impossible Now Possible with Google Glass” describes a scene from Mission Impossible 2 and talks about how the smart sunglasses shown in the movie represent technology within reach for the average person.

Let’s look at another technology featured in this movie series, specifically in “Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” where viewers are introduced to contact lenses that print whatever the agent looks at when he blinks twice.

Can contact lenses really be that smart?

As we step out of fiction and back into reality, we again see that the two aren’t so far apart. In fact, smart contacts and related technology involving the eyes may not take pictures or help you remember someone’s name (yet), but they could help save your vision and even your life.

Consider the following smart contact technology currently being developed:

  • Triggerfish by Sensimed – a wirelessly powered contact lens built to continuously measure the eye’s curvature in patients with glaucoma.
  • Daniel Kohanes lens – is designed to treat disease by slowly releasing drugs into the eye.
  • Googles smart contacts – house a sensor that measures the glucose levels in tears.
  • EyeSense – developing products that embed sensors in the eye to measure glucose levels.
  • Freedom Meditech – exploring measuring glucose levels through the eye by using light.

Concerns over this technology include the impact of the technology itself on eye health, the security of the data collected, and the potentially fatal consequences of wrong amounts of medication being dispersed. All of these challenges must be satisfactorily resolved before the technology is made accessible for everyday use.

But the potential is mind-blowing

No more remembering to put in eye drops. No more painful finger pricking for diabetics. Wearable technology holds the potential for making life a lot easier and significantly less painful for the nearly 385 million people worldwide with diabetes and the 20.5 million with cataracts.

And helping these individuals is just a start. Researchers would like to see smart contacts and/or related technology that tests blood alcohol levels and cholesterol, among other goals.

Who knows, maybe they’ll also make it possible to take pictures and do even more with your contacts. Turns out that technology is currently a reality too! (See Google Patents Contact Lens Camera, Will Help the Blind and Create Superhumans)

For additional information on this developing technology, check out the articles Smart Contacts and Googles smart contact lenses: What it does and how it works.