Google Glasses: Could Glasses Plus Augmented Contacted Lenses Be a Replacement?

Google Glasses: Could Glasses Plus Augmented Contacted Lenses Be a Replacement?Just when the world is going bonkers over the Google Glasses of the future, up steps another, even better idea.

To do this, let me first explain that Google Glasses are designed to project an image onto one lens of a pair of wearable glasses. The other lens is supposed to allow the wearer to view their outer periphery. Unique? Certainly. The newest concept? No way.

In fact, to improve on the innovative Google Glasses, developers have come up with the concept for a pair of wearable glasses that will first project an image onto both lenses of the eyeglasses and then reflect these images to a pair of contact lenses. This technology is meant to remove the one-eyed approach and make it possible for the user to not only view an image, but also give them the ability to view the outside world at the same time.

Developed by Randy Sprague for his company, iOptik, the project has received grant funding from the prestigious National Science Foundation. However, while this company appears to be a pioneer in the development of this product, other companies, including Google and Microsoft, have their own AR systems in development. What is interesting about iOptik, however, is its innovative approach that led to the US Army contracting with the company to be a part of its research and development team for the purpose of developing a new form of super glasses for our troops. It is my guess that Army officials believe that our troops would benefit from these super glasses by being able to view maps on the contact lenses while still being able to keep an eye out for activity on surrounding terrain.

What Other Uses Could These Types of Glasses Have?

For the everyday user, there would be the option of wearing the contact lenses and turning off the heads-up display when simply wishing to access information. On the other hand, the user could choose to venture out into the world and, just by placing their sunglasses on, they could access the information of their choosing. Interestingly enough, this information could range from using a GPS function to helping a driver find a way to circumvent backed-up or rush-hour traffic on busy city streets. Even at home, these little accessories could come in handy when a viewer wishes to pull up extra information about a TV program they are watching. This information could range from notes about the program itself to personal details about the actors or a director’s take on the program. Even on a blind date, these little glasses could provide background information on a date or the other people in a room of unknown entities.

Expanding possibilities further, one acknowledges that the availability of this information could prove useful for airline pilots and others who fly by providing information such as maps, terrain, weather conditions, and so forth. For professional drivers, either local or long haul, the ability to obtain information regarding upcoming traffic conditions could result in a safer trip.

Then one can’t forget the advantages that these could provide for our law enforcement personnel who could potentially be able to run facial recognition software prior to entering a dangerous situation. It could also be used to alert the local authorities if a driver had a warrant or was an alleged suspect of a crime. The ability to run these programs right in front of a suspect could prepare the officer to take an alert stance, thus adding another level of safety for the officer.

What Are the Drawbacks of Such Technology?

While I have listed the advantages of these types of glasses for drivers, one must also be aware that the wearing of these glasses could create a driving distraction. These distractions would be similar to those we have encountered when the driver of the car in front of us is on a cellphone and oblivious to their surroundings. In such instances, it is not uncommon to notice their vehicle swaying between the lines or proceeding at such a slow rate of speed that they irritate all of those driving behind him / her. Since these drivers are basically just concentrating on what they are hearing versus what they are seeing, I can’t help but believe that wearing these glasses would cause an even greater hazard on the road.

Over all, however, if the right driving restrictions were to be put in place, I believe that augmented reality glasses will be very beneficial for the reasons I have mentioned and I look forward to using them in the very near future.

What about you? Will you be using augmented reality glasses?

Comments welcome.

Source: POPSCI

CC licensed Flickr photo above shared by familymwr

Article Written by

I have been writing for Lockergnome for eight years.

  • Bharat Kumar Gupta

    very interesting, indeed we are living in an age where everything is a computer and the uses of such device that you listed are quite practical, smart i would say along with the use in army. Dude anything that lets me get out of the house is cool :D, i can access information on the go how cool is that! lets hope technologies like these evolve and not end up in the form of gimmicks, we are living in a quite interesting era, and i m enjoying every bit of innovation :)

  • Bharat Kumar Gupta

    devices like these IMO are “enablers”, after all we use computer devices bec we want to work out our problems in a smart manner, as u listed the eg of built in GPS for better navigating through traffic i think thats powerful,every device will have some kind of computer built in the future, smart devices saves time, resources and makes life easier, sure i welcome it why not, but currently google glass project and similar projects by other companies are just in the stages of evolution, looks like we are just beta testers of such products at current.

  • adamjweeden

    Gah! OMG it’s The Pale Man from Pans Labrynth!

  • sdeforest

    The mouse and qwerty might be at the end of long and productive lives (Tablets, etc.), but the trusty 2-D monitors (CRT-LCD) remain the prime way of receiving data even with tablets and smartphones. This might be the start of the end of monitors.

  • Shane Dodd

    One step closer to having Spider Jerusalem glasses! w00t!

  • Curtis Coburn

    I’m really looking forward to Google Glass. However, I wouldn’t want to wear contact lenses to use the AR. I like the idea of glasses. Uses for them could be enormous. The Army could them for many things, Law enforcement could use them, Dr.s could use them, and even the average person could use them for information we want now, where ever we are.
    When driving, there should be a law, against using them while driving. Like texting and driving.
    This may become the future. Something like a H+ world.

  • Samuel Guillermo

    It’s the natural evolution of science. It must happen.

  • Liam Jackson

    Not anywhere in the near future. There needs to be a stepping stone as most innovations have. Think of the Curiosity rover going to mars, we can’t go straight to mars with mankind. People won’t adapt and use them until they have become familiar with smaller innovations. But this technology is great for advances in making life simpler. It will happen, but not yet. People are scared of this sci-fi goodness!

  • Dakota Wallender

    I don’t need glasses yet but i have a feeling i might need them some day, i wont wear glasses, i would most defiantly use contacts. It would be nice to see an artical on laser eye surgery. and im curious if Chris has ever considered it.

  • kefir

    nice article

  • Michael Albayya

    this show how far technology has got us

  • Ahmed A

    I don’t think I’ll use it on daily bases, but boy, do I wanna get one.

  • Jesse Aranda

    I see this as a minor step into the direction of implanted computers. Being color blind and as I require glasses I imagine a prosthetic eye that would give me perfect color representation as well as perfect vision. It could do everything mentioned for the glasses with the addition of always being on you and imagine being a surgeon with this eye. Being able to zoom in without needing the lens attached to safety goggles. They could record a surgery from the perfect point of view, so students can see exactly how it’s going to be for them. Maybe that’s a little stretch but I would like to see this happen.

  • Qwilleran Lake

    This would be a great way for people to give presentations, speeches, and even helping actors memorize lines on the run. For example, if you were giving a powerpoint presentation, you could keep key facts up in front of you. You wouldn’t have to look down to a piece of paper, you could always keep your eyes on the audience. This technology would perhaps, one day, replace the use for a teleprompter. The options are endless, and I can’t wait.

  • Jentylee

    iOptiks has a contract with the gov’t? I want in on that. It could save soldiers lives. From a neuroscience degree background I think this vastly improves on the one eye projection for reasons I won’t get into. Having the iOptiks contacts on both eyes with the ability to turn off heads up is wonderful and could have saved my life on a few blind dates or bad cocktail parties ;). Seriously, the pilot, long distance driver, or officer scenarios are very real and cogent. The cons in driver distraction are a great problem and one not easily solved if no one can see you are wearing special lenses, so to speak. Interesting look literally and figuratively at the near future. Thanks. And yes, the AR glasses I will use asap.

  • Arman

    I cannot wait until the Google Glasses come out. I’ve been wanting to see something like this since I saw the spy versions in the movies I used to watch when I was a kid. And it will be interesting to see if there will be any true competitors to the Google Glasses that are more advanced and futuristic.

  • Joshie305

    This can be a huge leap for mankind i mean its kin of like a google search engine in your eyes

  • Roberto Van Gilder

    I will defiantly buy Google Glass when it comes out, and I think that it’s going to be a great piece of technology!

  • Mohamed Hisham Hadjazi

    I have to say I don’t like putting anything in my eyes. so its a no for me to contact lenses. but I would be the happiest guy If get my hands on a pair of google glasses.

  • Tom Sharples


  • Pascal Fiedler

    really useful. I guess you can see some things with your eyes, if you move these around.
    But can you open apps just with ya eyes?

  • louis percival

    clear and concise article, crazy concept, google glasses, this could be a possibility we may see it regularly used by the general public.

  • Christopher Micallef

    Micrsoft is making one too. #$15amaawesome

  • Pa Ul

    Your post is great to read. Despite this eyesight issue I started to wear reading eyeglasses.