Sony patents eye gesture contact lens camera

July 7, 2016 - 

Sony has filed a patent for a “contact lens camera” that would allow the wearer to snap photographs with a deliberate blink of the eye and store them on a wireless smartphone or tablet devices.

Images from the camera can also be stored in the lens itself before being transmitted wirelessly.

While other tech companies, including Google, have filed patents for “smart contact lenses”, Sony has contrasted itself from its competition by including enhanced features within its patent filing, such as: zoom and image stabilization, with the ability to differentiate between regular blinking and deliberate blinking for capturing images.

The aim, according to the U.S. patent application is “to provide a contact lens and storage medium capable of controlling an image pickup unit provided in the contact lens.”

The solution would include a lens unit configured to be worn on an eyeball; an image pickup unit configured to capture an image of a subject, the image pickup unit being provided in the lens unit; and an image pickup control unit configured to control the image pickup unit.

While the patent provides insights into Sony’s future research and development efforts, the technology required to incorporate the proposed functionality into a minuscule contact lens does not presently exist. As a consequence, the proposed system is currently only a prototypical concept that has emerged from the company’s Japanese laboratories.

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About Rawlson King

Rawlson O’Neil King is a contributing editor at and is an experienced communications professional, management consultant, trade journalist and author who recently published a book about control and electronic networks and who has written numerous articles in trade publications and academic journals about smart home and building technologies. Follow him @rawlsonking2.