updated 04:46 pm EST, Sat January 11, 2014
Google may plot wearable device with biosensors
The Google division that developed the search giant's Glass wearable computing device appears to be plotting more devices incorporating a number of biosensors. This according to Businessweek, which says the development means that the firm could be moving into much more advanced wearable devices than Google Glass, including contacts that help their wearers monitor their biological data. The move also signals that Google is taking a much more serious look at ensuring that if it does move into such technology it will do so with an eye toward ensuring that it adheres to all relevant regulatory matters.
The Google X lab is a secretive division of the search giant, one that the company's founders have half-joked is responsible for making devices and technologies seen in science fiction into a reality. Members of that group met recently with the United States Food and Drug Administration, which is charged ensuring the safety of devices that consumers put into their bodies, as well as with the accuracy of apps and devices meant to measure biological metrics. The FDA has confirmed that it met recently with Google employees. Among the Google employees present at the meeting were personnel whose previous research includes "noninvasive monitoring of the wearer's biomarkers and health indicators," as well as "augmented reality in a contact lens."
When initially introducing Google Glass, Google co-founder Sergei Brin noted that fitting the technology for the device into a form factor the size and shape of a contact lens was an eventual goal for Google X. Employees Google has since hired on believe that such a device could become possible in the near future.
"Advances in technology scaling, sensor devices, and ultra low-power circuit design techniques have now made it possible to integrate complex wireless electronics onto the surface of a wearable contact lens," according to a paper published by Google's Babak Parviz, who was involved in the Google Glass project.
Google has declined to comment on the company's meeting with the FDA. The firm has, though, been working to integrate Glass with prescription eyewear for the forthcoming release of the first generation of the project.