Google's smart contact lens

Discussion in 'Mobile Phones / Entertainment' started by Sam Posten, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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  2. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    http://gigaom.com/2014/01/17/one-diabetics-take-on-googles-smart-contact-lenses/

    This I thought compelling.
    This I didn't understand.
    I was unpersuaded by the argument that contacts are too expensive, so google should make a something else that requires a phone to report glucose levels. If money is the problem, requiring an electronics gadget should immediately rule it out. Likewise, any disposable patch. Flipping it around, contact lenses are molded plastic. Disposable Rx lenses cost about $100/yr in the US. Gas-permeable lenses cost a few hundred and 3-5 years with care (I know, I wear them).

    The expensive part of this solution is likely the printed electronics, particularly making it comfortable. But making it a patch that can be worn on the arm of -- presumably in the scenario Om posits -- a low-wage manual laborer and surface a whole day. Or even multiple days, to keep cost down, with less frequent replacement, seems to also have challenges.

    I don't know that contacts for diabetics are a good idea: his initial comment suggests not. But that notwithstanding, I'm unpersuaded by his case.
     
  3. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I replied more succinctly in Om's comments:
    A quick point: contacts can correct some astigmatism.
    http://www.allaboutvision.com/contacts/torics.htm

    I found your introduction compelling: that contacts are known to be bad for diabetics and pursuing that shows Google simply isn’t paying attention to basic parameters. (I don’t know anything diabetes, so I’ll trust that’s correct.)

    I don’t understand the longer point about costs. You argue contacts are too expensive, but argue in favor of other micro-electronic devices that connect wirelessly to phones. Is this really less expensive? You assert it, but it’s not obvious, and not really supported in your essay.

    http://www.transdermalspecialties.com/u-strip-product-description.html

    As a contacts wearer, I see the appeal of Google’s project. If they could report on my health, that would be a free benefit; no additional effort on my part. That brings it back around to your starting point: fundamentally wrong choice to report on diabetes, since a diabetic won’t be wearing contacts.
     
  4. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

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    I think Google should stop announcing tech that is so far away from practical use that it isn't even funny. All announcing prototype tech (that may never see the light of day) does is raise false hopes.
     
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